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  1. #1
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    Question Update on Homophobia and Racism

    I just finished reading the thread titled, "?s about racism and homophobia ". Since the last post was from July of 2009, I was hoping to have an updated response to this question.

    My husband and I are looking to move to NZ. One of several reasons is to we are looking to move is for a hopefully more benevolent attitude toward gays and gay rights (equal - not special rights).

    Other posts have suggested that gays are not treated well in NZ.

    1.) Has anyone experienced (first-handedly or vicariously) any homophobia, aside from off-color queer jokes?

    2.) We are concerned about safety. Is there or is there not open homophobia, if so, do the larger towns/cities have an open-minded attitude or is it a rural (redneck/hillbilly) attitude?

    3.) Domestic Partnership laws exist in NZ. Are there other discrimination laws in place encouraging equality?

    I don't mean to portray us as thin skinned about queer jokes or unable to tolerate a little jab or disapproval. Comedy and lightheartedness are one thing, malicious belittling and bullying are another. On the other hand, I don't think we want to jump from the frying pan and into the fire. I hardly ever hear or read specifically homophobic rhetoric but the state is trying to amend the constitution to prohibit gay marriage and forbid domestic partnership benefits. Indianapolis, Indiana (US) is not a discrimination nightmare but once you get out of Indy, it is a place to be keenly aware and cautious.

  2. #2
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    There is quite a lot of homophobic talk out there, shockingly much on radio stations, at work, in general everyday conversation. The fear of (especially male) homosexuality runs really deep in this society, but I think it largely manifests itself verbally. On the whole, I have not come across any violence personally, though it is out there (an arson attack the other day in Mangawhei, the case here in Auckland where people have used that 'being provoked' defense in the killing of a gay man).

    My biggest bugbear here is not the physical safety but the stupid comments and the idea of 'manhood' and masculinity in this country that I don't consider healthy at all. Those ideas certainly don't include being gay. Just yesterday, I drove past one of those Tui ads:'if he wants to do ballet, let him - yeah right.'

    Would I think it physically safe to move here for a gay couple? Yes. Would I consider this a gay friendly/accepting/supportive environment? No, not really. (It's more of a case of 'if we don't see it or know, we can ignore it, and then everyone is happy').

    I often find the legislation in this country to be ahead of people's minds.

    Daniela

  3. #3
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    i know some openly gay males and I dont think they would be so openly gay if they feared anything. saying that, Daniela is quite right about the "jokey" language on the radio and in normal everyday language. i dont think theres any vitriol behind it but homosexuality is referred to almost as a weakness in media conversation.

  4. #4
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    You might want to take a look at the websites for Wellington's Out in the Square http://outinthesquare.wordpress.com/
    which is in it's 26th year and is supported by Wellington council - it says here: http://www.wellingtonnz.com/event/ou...d_lesbian_fair

    I do think that many kiwis are rather 'ignorant' about homosexuality.
    But I don't think they are violent. More the way Victoria has described it.

  5. #5
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    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/14...bars-gay-label is a link to a very recent article on this - including some comments (letters to the paper by readers) - on a local level.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/1...vel-row-carter is another link; several months ago in relation to our national parliament...

  6. #6
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    Wow. This is deflating.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't be too deflated. John Key went to the LGBT festival a couple of weeks ago and there is an established 'scene' in Auckland.

    Saying, that I suspect attitudes outside of the bigger cities may be a little backward. Where were you thinking of heading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indianaman View Post
    Wow. This is deflating.

  8. #8
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    There's a blog/column on the Stuff website that you might find interesting: http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/bl...er-the-rainbow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kea View Post
    I wouldn't be too deflated. John Key went to the LGBT festival a couple of weeks ago
    Where he got a rather lukewarm reception a few years ago after having voted against civil unions beforehand...

    But he has bravely gone back every year since.

    Daniela

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dharder View Post
    Where he got a rather lukewarm reception a few years ago after having voted against civil unions beforehand...
    Out of interest do you know of his reasoning behind voting against civil unions? I am anti-civil unions but not because of anti-homosexuality; only because I think that there should be no difference in law between a same-sex relationship and a mixed-sex relationship and thus it should be called marriage.

    But he called also believe that some people should be second class citizens and so want to vote against gay marriage as well as civil unions!

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