The charges stemmed from an incident where the men allegedly ordered two men to leave town because of the mistaken belief they were gay. Source
The two accused, a 41 year old man from Oamaru and a 40 year old from Hampden, have had their names suppressed.
Hampden police Senior Constable Darrin Low told Dunedin District Court (on Monday) that one man who had been detained said he had “never known fear like it“. SourceOur thoughts are with the victims and we wish them a full and speedy recovery from their ordeal.
It’s good to see that police are taking this incident seriously and are prosecuting the alleged offenders, however it does highlight how shockingly bigoted and violent some of the more rural areas of New Zealand can be.
But is ‘gay bashing,’ in all its forms, limited just to the rural backwaters of New Zealand, or is there something dark lurking within the collective fragile Kiwi psyche ?
Air NZ’s Gay Kiss Refusal
Following complaints from gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people Air New Zealand said recently that they will remove a scene from an in-flight safety video where All Black player, Richard Kahui, refused to kiss a gay flight attendant on the cheek.
The video, which had already been shown to over two million people on Air NZ’s aircraft, apparently without any thought as to whether it may have marginalised or offended some people, also raised concern from a university professor who feared it may have caused gay male suicide. Is it any wonder in a country where ads like this next one are permitted, legitimising homophobia:
Low Carb Beer ‘Queer’
Earlier this month GayNZ reported on an ad campaign by Moa Beer, which suggested that anyone drinking low carb beer was ‘queer’:
“Moa Beer is offering to apologise in person to anyone offended by a t-shirt campaign which suggests low carb beer drinkers are queer, after an outpouring of disgust and disappointment on Facebook.
The boutique brewer’s marketing department was giving away t-shirts which said “Low Carb Beers”, with the a pink ‘Q’ superimposed over the letter ‘B’ so it read “Qeers”, promoting the fact that Moa’s brews are “full strength”.
When asked by GayNZ.com Daily News whether the campaign is saying that anyone who drinks low carb beer must be queer, Moa’s marketing manager replied “yes”, but also so replied “yes” to the question of whether Moa was bothered that it had offended some gay people.
The ensuing story sparked angry backlash on its Facebook page…” read the full report hereSo what’s the message here – Homophobia in NZ is acceptable until it results in physical harm and assault?
Comments left on the beer company’s wall included:
“Yesterday a friend of mine was threatened with being bottled, sworn at and called a faggot because he walked down Ponsonby Road holding his boyfriend’s hand.
THIS is why, unfortunately, NZ isn’t mature enough for Moa’s advertisement. I know it’s meant in humour, there are too many people who see that kind of advertising as legitimising their homophobia. Take Toyota and the ‘bugger’ commercials. Suddenly it was acceptable. It was on wheel covers. It was publicly ok to say the word. This will happen with homophobia if advertisements like Moa’s are seen as ok.”
“It’s reading debates like this that I’m pleased I’ve left New Zealand. Considering it’s nearly 2011 it’s amazing how backward kiwis can still be. We need to be more accepting. To those that posted “PC madness” “take a joke” etc., it’s easy to say that when you are part of the majority. Try putting yourself in the shoes… of someone in a minority group and feel what it’s like to be oppressed; dealing with this stuff day in, day out.Other stories presently in the NZ News you may be interested in:
ps I’m not gay.
pps won’t be buying the beer.”
“The only people that will take offensive to it are ‘Queers’, I don’t get mad at ads that take the piss out of woman, as a lot of beer adverts do, eg Tui…. I say grow a set of balls and laugh… by the way well done MOA by the reaction this has had it means your advertising has worked!!!”
“Another ‘Like’ just to post on your wall.
I really thought we had made progress, as a country, away from homophobic shyte like your QEER T Shirt campaign.
Like many, I’d never heard of you but the bad news is, now I have, I don’t like you.
Epic PR failure.”
Upset by sexual moves, murder trial told
Gay community calls for justice over banjo killing
Thanks to Readerofe2 for the links
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