Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Take: Three decades on from law reform

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  • Renée Taylor, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I marched with all the rest and when we came to the Salvation Army Citadel they yelled out abuse at us and I've never forgotten it. Then I walked with my granddaughter in the marriage equality issue in Wellington and it was like a walk in the park. Lovely. People on footpaths were smiling at us - what a difference.

    Otaki • Since Jan 2013 • 3 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Conrad Heine,

    Watching a petition-wielding Sallie approach a skinhead on Queen Street, and said skinhead gleefully scrawling.

    Things had come down several notches by the time of Destiny Church's 'Enough is Enough' march in 2004, but I've always been surprised that it seemed to be only me who noticed a group (of pakeha) who marched along with National Front placards. That certainly took the creepiness up a level.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    he indifference of networks to commissioning a documentary

    Hoping they see this episode as a small proof of concept.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    With the benefit of hindsight, its always easy to fall into the comforting belief that Homosexual Law Reform was someone inevitable.

    That's just not true. And if someone doesn't tell the truth -- including the history of Vern Young's bill twelve years earlier -- it not only distorts history but allows complacency to breed. That's not only annoying but dangerous -- because if recent events in the United States and England have taught us anything it should be that nothing -- nothing -- is set is stone.

    What he said. I think I said all I need to on a thread while you were in the US, Russell, so I'll just misquote Dickens:

    It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • nzlemming,

    Except it's Venn Young, for those playing along at home, and father of Jonathan Young and, according to Wikipedia, Audrey Young [citation needed]

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to nzlemming,

    Ugh, you're quite right Vern(on) Young is a second cousin of mine, who is also a top-shelf human being but has as much interest in politics as I have in rugby. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • TracyMac,

    I'm glad I came out that year. There was a lot of targeting of young people to sign those petitions - so many people I know apologised to me subsequently because they signed out of ignorance and/or weight of expectations.

    As for the Salvation Army, the apology was a gesture, I suppose, but they'll never see one cent from me. I don't much like their religious tenets, leaving aside the political meddling.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report

  • mnpound,

    My brother John was so pleased that the bill passed before he died of AIDS 9 days later. It didn't make up for the faeces and hate letters in the letterbox or the unknown, unannounced Drs coming to the door wanting to see him - one from Australia. His partner and I and mum cared for him at his home as the hospital's non medical staff (cleaners) wouldn't enter his room there. Am glad, so glad that times have changed for some lucky countries.

    auckland • Since Jun 2012 • 5 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to mnpound,

    My brother John was so pleased that the bill passed before he died of AIDS 9 days later. It didn’t make up for the faeces and hate letters in the letterbox or the unknown, unannounced Drs coming to the door wanting to see him – one from Australia.

    Fucking hell – AIDS was intense enough in the days before treatments without hateful creeps, baseless fears and doctors on the make. How bloody awful.

    I've been thinking a bit lately about how brutal AIDS deaths were then. It's hard to grasp.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • izogi,

    On the topic, did anyone else happen to catch this weird rationalisation of Winston Peters, a couple of days ago? I can only find it reported in that one place on Stuff, and I'm amazed that he hasn't been called out for and questioned further on it.

    Apparently the majority who voted against law reform were concerned about AIDS, and if there had been more knowledge of the coming medical advances then he and others might have voted differently. Even if that were actually true, it's disturbing to even see him still try to use that reasoning in modern times.

    I'd say more, but a comment under the article from someone called Pomble says it so much better than I ever could:

    So heterosexual people could be trusted to use contraception to protect themselves from STD's, but homosexual people couldn't? The idea that HIV is purely "a gay disease' has been debunked time and time again. Unprotected sex, sharing needles, or exposure to HIV-infected blood are the main ways for adults to become infected. Yes, there is more unprotected sex in certain demographics of the population and therefore a disproportionate number of new cases, and homosexual or bisexual males are a much higher number in the western world, but why shouldn't they have been trusted with their own contraception then, any more than they are now? Surely a society where people aren't marginalised and made to feel different or ostracised for their choices, would encourage them to feel secure and make positive choices for themselves? Maybe the problem is pure and simple small-mindedness? A state of mind which doesn't seem to have evolved much in certain areas of New Zealand, sadly...

    Does anyone have easy access to Hansard from that time? It could also be fascinating to read what Winston Peters actually said on the topic, as opposed to what he's claiming now. I don't personally have time to go to the library and hunt through giant reference books, though.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to izogi,

    Winston Peters' politics, like those of his mentor Muldoon, are inherently divisive. By promoting one group of citizens passing judgement on another he continues to prove that he simply never got the concept of human rights.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    I've been thinking a bit lately about how brutal AIDS deaths were then. It's hard to grasp.

    Brutal. I came out in 1986. I moved to Wellington in '88 where I was scooped up by the generation ahead of me and taught safe sex. They were frightened, and meticulously worked to make sure we knew about safe sex. I remember being 'hired' along with my flatmate to be waiters at a post service function of someone I knew who had died. His partner lives in Auckland today. I was taken to visit someone dying of Aids (he was straight - he got it through needles - he was a lovely Scotsman). Older men who traveled told me about the men, in their 20s / 30s in NYC that were hobbling around on canes. People I knew died - a man who graced the cover of Pink Triangle died. This backdrop of Aids functioned as a part of my life - when I moved to Vancouver, my initial host died of Aids some months later. He was from French Guiana. On and on, men died. It just became a blur really - so and so died, and so and so was sick (on his way to death). I found out about Arthur, who died on the night of Devotion (a gay dance party in Wgton) through a story by Peter Wells, when I was living in Montreal. Arthur was lovely, and I understand part of his ashes were sprinkled on the dance floor at the following year's party. When I moved back in '96, still more men.

    Til roughly about 2000, when things started to change, and men were no longer dying. You know, growing up in a time when your fellow gay citizens were dying does something to you. I don't know what, but it is something.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report

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