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July 15, 2019 | by  | in News |
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The National Queer in Review

Largely characterised by protest, but generally seen as progressing important queer issues, the year 2018/2019 for the Rainbow community in New Zealand has been a big and busy one. 

Here are a few key stories from the year to keep you up to date.

 

Conversion Therapy Petition

In September 2018, Young Labour, Young Greens and InsideOUT presented a petition to Parliament to ban conversion therapy. Combined, the petition received over 20,000 signatures and saw impassioned statements from Teri O’Neill and Max Tweedie at its presentation. 

Their sentiment was clear: we’re here; we’re queer, and you know there’s no changing it. 

 

Brian Tamaki Apology

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki apologised for previous statements regarding the Rainbow community. Amongst (now-confirmed) speculation about his family establishing a new political party for the 2020 election, Tamaki reversed statements condemning homosexuality, requesting the queer community move beyond the ‘misunderstanding’.

 

Police in Auckland Pride

In early 2019, there was controversy around demands that police officers not attend the Auckland Pride parade in uniform. Proponents of this change reasoned that uniformed police could make attendees feel unsafe during their celebration of diversity and inclusivity.

 

Ultimately, despite large-scale loss of corporate sponsorship, Auckland’s rainbow community pulled together a lower-key street march.

 

Ardern First PM at Pride Parade

In Auckland 2018, Jacinda Ardern became the first Prime Minister to attend a Pride Parade. Her inclusion has been treated as a signal towards a change in direction for government relations with the queer community. 

 

Similarly, Parliament celebrated the re-opening of its refurbished Select Committee “Rainbow Room” with prominent community leaders from across New Zealand. The new decor celebrates Parliament’s history of queer representatives and its commitment to further inclusivity.

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