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May 9, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Queer Officer

With Don Brash as the newly appointed ACT Party leader, the not-unreasonable goal of social equality may have just become a bit less attainable for New Zealand’s LGBT citizens. Don Brash voted against civil unions in 2004 and supported the Marriage (Gender Clarification) Amendment Bill in 2005. There are furthermore talks of John Banks running for the Epsom Electorate under the ACT Party banner. Banks is undoubtedly a bigot—as an elected representative of National, he voted against the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986 and against the Human Rights Act of 1993. For a party that in its own words holds itself up as liberal, this is more than a little disappointing.

Not only does this mean that there is less political representation for the issues of queer-minded Kiwis, but voters now face an ultimatum between economic preference and civil rights. Without a viable socially liberal alternative for people who support right wing economics, voting just became a much more limited experience. Those for whom gay rights are a priority may have to think twice about voting for an economically conservative party.

There is a strong need for the youth wing of the ACT party to strongly voice its concerns about the social conservatism that seems to be taking over the party. With the National Party having never taken causes of equality for queer voters seriously, many people are left in a situation where they are forced to chose between their beliefs regarding the economy or their civil rights!

On a less political note (well sort of… everything I say is political), UniQ has recently elected their new executive. UniQ is a social/support group for all queer students at Vic and their friends. They have numerous social gatherings and even put on really cool parties throughout the year. So if you are not on their email list, make sure to contact them at uniqvictoria@gmail.com.

Finally, a big thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who helped make Pink Shirt Day at Vic Uni a massive success. For those who missed it, Pink Shirt Day is a day where people wear pink to show their support against bulling. We had a team of volunteers who spent part of the day getting people to sign letters to John Key which stated that more needed to be done in schools to prevent the bulling of queer students. We had over 1650 students sign the letter, so well done!

Tom Reed
queer.officer@vuwsa.org.nz

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