Kevin Hague
Gay red top

Oh all right then.

The issue with using the word “gay” in the way the PM did is that it works as a put-down only because it taps into and reinforces a bunch of negative ideas about homosexual people (actually, I didn’t think weird was one of them).

As an adult gay man who has been working “in this space”, as the marketing people say, for around 30 years now, it’s water off a duck’s back to me. However it’s a different story for a young LGBTI person, or an older person who is in the process of coming out or is otherwise feeling insecure or isolated. A young gay person will most likely every day hear the word that describes them used to mean pathetic, sad, terrible, inappropriate, wrong and maybe even weird. It has no effect on me, but it has a big effect on them. That is why LGBTI community organisations and student and teacher groups are working to increase understanding of the effect of the word.

I absolutely take the point that most of the people who use the word “gay” as a pejorative descriptor – including the Prime Minister – intend no offence by it. But the point is that regardless of their intentions, harm is caused. Words matter, as Sir Ian McKellan says.

The Prime Minister has said that he heard his son using the word in this way, and has copied him (to try to perpetuate his cool, everyman image, no doubt). Actually the right thing to do when he heard his son using language that way (and I mean to use words that describe any minority group to hurt or marginalise) was to teach, not copy.

The Prime Minister’s behaviour and language have a big impact, and I don’t think our country’s Prime Minister ought to be legitimising a practice that is mindlessly harmful. See, for example, Mark Reason’s comments in the sports pages this morning.

Having said all that, I also want to say that John Key as Prime Minister has done a number of things that have been really helpful for my community (for example, his comments around the marriage equality bill, and commitment to support it into law, have been very valuable), and I don’t think he set out to cause offence. That’s why my public response has been to try to make the necessary serious point while retaining a sense of humour.

All he needs to do is say that he shouldn’t have said what he did, that he understands language can be hurtful and just like everyone else, he is always learning. And he could really save the day by wearing a red top himself!

50 thoughts on “Gay red top

  1. A good response to yet another thoughtless remark from the PM, Kevin. As you say the PM may have done some positive things in support of the Gay community but we do expect a higher level of engagement from the man who leads our Government and influences our international reputation.

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  2. Kevin… I second Sprout’s comment… you’re doing well out there.

    In one sense I am not surprised at all by the PM, as I have understood all along that his social responsibility is largely a mask.

    However, his mask has slipped of late. This is very UNLIKE him because he has always been very smooth and difficult to catch in such errors. Hence I wonder about his underlying health

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  3. Just so we’re clear Kevin, can you please tell us ‘lessor citizens’ when (and in what context) we can use the following words.

    Gay.
    Camp.
    Rainbow.
    Queer.
    Fabulous.
    Queen.
    Homo.

    Thanks, I wouldn’t want to cause anyone distress (careless brute that I am, and we all know how dull us breeders are )

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  4. Thankfully you’re not representative of all breeders so to speak. I mean for gods sake Shunda, you’re acting like a spoilt little brat.

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  5. I mean for gods sake Shunda, you’re acting like a spoilt little brat

    You could have given me a smacked bottom if you hadn’t banned it.

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  6. If I hadn’t banned it? I’m not a politician and didn’t vote to bring in the anti smacking legislation shunda. Your comprehension skills are sadly lacking.

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  7. Kevin says “The issue with using the word “gay” in the way the PM did is that it works as a put-down only because it taps into and reinforces a bunch of negative ideas about homosexual people (actually, I didn’t think weird was one of them).”

    For you to be correct, first you would have to confuse the meanings of the word gay.

    The way it is often used today has got no more to do with homosexuals than other dictionary definitions like gay (joyful) or gay (bright) colours.

    Next we’ll be told we can’t use the word “lame”, because it’s offensive to cripples (I’m probably not allowed to use the word cripples).

    Or crazy, because it’s offensive to those with mental health issues.

    And what about “naff”, considering it started as a derogatory term used by gay people towards heterosexuals?

    The meanings of words don’t always stay the same (earlier use of gay is a good example).

    My many nieces and nephews of university age, right down to primary school children, have widely used the term gay for years, in a way that has nothing whatsoever to do with homosexuality.

    Luckily most of us have the ability to instantly know the meaning implied for multiple-meaning words like queen, camp, queer, may, their/there, wear/where, here/hear/hair, red/read, date, leaves, right etc by the way they are used.

    Perhaps if someone doesn’t have much to do with young people and hadn’t heard gay used that way before, they could possibly assume the wrong thing, like many peoples initial confusion over young peoples use of “sick/sik” and “fat/phat”.

    However if you think you can stop young people using a word in a way that’s been in common usage for years, because a few confused people take the WRONG meaning from it, you’d be dreaming.

    You’ve got more chance of holding back a rising ocean with a few sandcastles than you have of banning word meanings amoung young people in an ever evolving language.

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  8. “You’ve got more chance of holding back a rising ocean with a few sandcastles than you have of banning word meanings amoung young people in an ever evolving language.”

    Key’s not “young people”.

    He’s old, balding and sports a paunch.

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  9. “Just so we’re clear Kevin, can you please tell us ‘lessor citizens’ when (and in what context) we can use the following words.

    Gay.
    Camp.
    Rainbow.
    Queer.
    Fabulous.
    Queen.
    Homo.”

    I’ll answer on Kevin’s behalf, Shunda. Use them where appropriate.

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  10. ‘Nigger’ deeply offensive term, out of the mouth of a white.
    ‘Nigga” term of brotherhood and endearment, out of the mouth of a black.
    Go figure.
    I default back to the great…

    “Offense cannot be given, it can only be taken”

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  11. They are different words.

    If offense and or hurt is taken from the word ‘gay’ (by say, an at-risk homosexual male high-school student), should you still insist on using the word because you don’t mean to offend?

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  12. If offense and or hurt is taken from the word ‘gay’ (by say, an at-risk homosexual male high-school student), should you still insist on using the word because you don’t mean to offend?
    And you honestly think that banning people who are “old, balding and sports a paunch” from saying “gay” will stop high-school males from mocking / abusing / teasing / bullying “at-risk” males?

    Deal with the problem, not generation of faux outrage for political point-scoring.

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  13. photon

    The way it is often used today has got no more to do with homosexuals than other dictionary definitions like gay (joyful) or gay (bright) colours.

    But that’s not the way Key used the word is it photon. He clearly used it as an insult. The inflection in his voice showed that he did not like the red top. His use of the word was surrounded by other put downs of the colour red. Therefore Key used the word gay in a derogatory way.

    I personally find Key’s use of the word in that way offensive, not just because he inferred that gay is something bad, but because he’s the Prime Minister of New Zealand and should act accordingly. Decorum seems to be something sadly lacking from National ranks at the moment. Such juvenile behaviour makes us the laughing stock of the world, or have you not been following some of the international coverage on Key’s verbal diarrhea lately?

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  14. And you honestly think that banning people who are “old, balding and sports a paunch” from saying “gay” will stop high-school males from mocking / abusing / teasing / bullying “at-risk” males?”

    No. You miss my point. I don’t say ‘ban’. I say Key has a responsibility, by dint of the office he holds, to watch his language. People will model on him. He is in a position of influence and is obliged to show discretion. With his comment, he showed little.

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  15. @Spam

    Promoting that abuse and LEADING us by example (including those High School jerkwads) in the wrong direction, he undoes all the effort made to prevent such abuse.

    We didn’t “ban” the use of the word. The use of it in that manner is wrong. I’ll put it more strongly, it marks the user as an asshole when it is used that way, and defending it is not particularly well reasoned either. Every school in the country is working at preventing such abuses, and it isn’t exactly a secret that the job is difficult, teen-aged boys being what they are.

    Having the PM toss the entire effort out the window? Priceless.

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  16. To be clear about the context here, Key was deriding Jamie Mackay in regard an upcoming golf game:

    You’re munted mate, you’re never going to make it. You’ve got that gay red top on there.

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  17. If offense and or hurt is taken from the word ‘gay’ (by say, an at-risk homosexual male high-school student).

    I see we are back to playing the “I’m right because of my imaginary victims” game.

    Perhaps you could stop talking nonsense and think about what you are saying.

    You certainly make Gay kids sound like little weaklings, so who’s stereotyping now?.

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  18. People will model on him. He is in a position of influence and is obliged to show discretion.

    So you actually want an American presidential style moralist running the country?

    Bloody hell Greenfly!, you’ve lost it mate!

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  19. @Greenfly 6.44am
    Having seen the picture of Kevin wearing the T-shirt I think he probably qualifies for your description of being “old, balding and sports a paunch”. Are we to refuse him permission to speak.
    Incidentally, in order not to hurt his feelings, am I supposed to use his apparently preferred description and instead of referring to him as being gay talk about him as being a vodka soaked Homo?
    I also insist hat you stop using the word “old” in the way you do, which is clearly meant to be perjorative. I am older than John Key and I find your use of the phrase offensive.

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  20. “imaginary victims”, Shunda?
    Check out the statistics for suicide amongst high-school-age homosexual males, and the reasons given for their actions, then ask your question again.

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  21. alwyn – don’t use the word ‘old’ perjoratively?
    You are quite right, were I the Prime Minister, but I’m not. John Key has already fallen foul of insulting retired people through his careless comments during his tea-party with John Banks. You’ve strengthened my point with your comment. Key needs to take far greater care with what he says. people get hurt by words, as you showed with the injury you took from my using ‘old’. I apologize. So should Key.

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  22. Check out the statistics for suicide amongst high-school-age homosexual males, and the reasons given for their actions, then ask your question again.

    Check out the statistics for suicide for ALL young men, and then answer my question again.

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  23. “All he needs to do is say that he shouldn’t have said what he did”

    Or Key (and most other people I suspect) could just laugh at how precious you are being about this. Just for all you slow thinkers, when the word “gay” is used in the context Key was using it in, it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Ask any teenager – well anybody actually. Outside your closed group of course.

    Earth to KH , it is NOT always about you. I am sure you are working on it but you don’t own the language yet.

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  24. Let’s just look at the current use of the word “GAY”

    For my source have used http://www.dictionary.cambridge.org, the entry states:

    gay
    adjective ( BAD QUALITY ) /geɪ/

    Definition
    slang Something that is gay is not very good quality or is not clever, sensible or suitable
    These seats are so gay. I can’t even see what’s happening on stage.

    gay
    adjective ( HAPPY ) /geɪ/

    Definition
    • old-fashioned happy
    We had a gay old time down at the dance hall.
    • old-fashioned If a place is gay, it is bright and attractive
    The streets were gay and full of people.

    gay
    adjective ( HOMOSEXUAL ) /geɪ/

    Definition
    homosexual
    Mark knew he was gay by the time he was fourteen.

    I think the PM has used to word in one of its current common usages, what is the prolem here?

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  25. The PM has tried to connect with those who plank and now with how some of the young Tories use the word gay to describe anything red/left (the meme of the left being in bed with homosexuals – left behind on the day of Christian rapture) – nothing says gay planker/plonker than an aging rich white male atheist trying to be black/hip/Christian in his dog whistle.

    Did not sell well in the USA either.

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  26. Right then. Just to ensure equity here (can dream can’t I?)

    I suppose the gay-invented invective “homophobe” is now retired – permanently.

    Or is gay vitriol a one-way street?

    I’m reminded of when Tariana Turia said about 6 years ago, that it is impossible for a Maori to be racist to a white person. Kinda gives it perspective, no?

    (Am I allowed to say “gay vitriol”?)

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  27. Well it’s certainly an active debate! I’m not going to respond to everything people have said, but would make the remark that some people don’t appear to have read the original post.

    I am not taking offence at the PM’s comments, and I’m not being “precious”. I also readily accept that dictionaries now incorporate this new meaning of the word, and that most people who use the word in this way don’t intend to insult or offend anyone. You do not need to tell me these things. However, I again make two points:

    1. There is an interaction between language and other aspects of culture. Language is not necessarily value-neutral (“it’s just a word”). In this case the new meaning of the word relies on, and reinforces, an equation of homosexuality with negative attributes.

    2. Samiam is quite right. Harm is not created by the intent of the speaker, but by the perception of, and impact on, the person hearing it. This impact is likely to be highly specific to the characteristics of this person. It would be great if we had a society that gave every vulnerable young person the emotional resilience to deal with whatever came their way. But in the absence of that, isn’t there some kind of responsibility on us all to do our best to act (and speak) in ways that don’t hurt people?

    It seems incredible to me that there is serious debate about whether or not young gay people are vulnerable, but then I have to remind myself that relatively few of us have been through that experience. Pretty much every young gay person has grown up absolutely surrounded by family, friends, school and culture that reinforce an assumption of heterosexuality. With few exceptions, young people themselves have assumed themselves to be heterosexual. It comes as a complete shock to have the dawning realisation that they are not. At this point they feel unhinged and incredibly alone, acutely aware that they are going to confound and probably disappoint everyone who matters to them. At the same time they are likely to have little support and be very aware of the pervasive hostility to homosexuality that is signalled by acts such as the use of the word “gay” to mean a whole bunch of bad things.

    In other posts over the years I have catalogued some of the effects of this situation. They aren’t good. Youth suicide has been raised in this thread and is a pretty good example. The Youth 07 survey is the most recent large sample study we have available on the topic in New Zealand. It found that same-sex attracted young people had experienced actual suicide attempts at a rate five times their heterosexual peers. Finding sexual orientation and identity information about completed suicides is difficult, as you will readily appreciate, but every reputable study has concluded that those young men (especially) with a homosexual or bisexual orientation are significantly more likely to kill themselves. Yes, our suicide rate for young men in New Zealand is terribly high. But it is terribly, terribly higher for young gay and bisexual men as a result of the hostile environment. For an illustration of the nature of this hostility, can I recommend that you visit the comments section on Whaleoil’s blog post criticising me for raising an objection to the Prime Minister’s use of the word?

    If we can do something about that, shouldn’t we?

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  28. Dear WingNuts

    Gay was and is a word that that community uses to identify itself. That change is the first in the chain. As long as it is used as identification it is perfectly reasonable to continue to use it.

    The pejorative usage grew from the homophobic center of Heartland America using it to make nasty comments and their kids imitating the usage to bring it into the schools. So it does have multiple meanings.

    The problem here is that the pejorative connection to homosexuality cannot be disentangled by claiming that you were referring to an ugly shirt. I have heard every claim here before. Most started as excuses offered by HS students to avoid punishment… for using it pejoratively with respect to a person.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE to use it to describe an unfashionable shirt without also incorporating an anti-homosexual message. Making that pejorative “acceptable” is a goal of the Christian Right in the USA, as undermining the gay community is part of THEIR version of “Gods Work”.

    That’s completely clear to someone from the USA, where the pejorative usage and the religious nutcase right originate… and the habit of killing people out of hand for being Gay isn’t nearly uncommon enough.

    So quit jerking us around with attempts to legitimize the insult. The PM owes the teachers who have been working hard to remove this particular form of bullying from the schools, an apology. The lack of understanding is deep, and the harm done is deeper.

    The only thing I would grant the PM is that he probably didn’t start with malicious intent… simply an error in judgement but it is an indefensible thing and you are trying to defend it..

    There is NO “innocent” pejorative use of this word referring to anything at all. Find another… and don’t imagine you can find enough wool in this country to disguise what is actually happening here.

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  29. Speaking of Whaleoil, I liked this comment:

    “We need a new movement in this country.
    I have 2 arms and 2 legs and I am damn proud of that fact.
    My fellow 4 limbed brothers and sisters have been quiet for too long. We need to rise up and celebrate our uniqueness and demand that people take notice.
    Our slogan.
    What do we want?
    Gradual change.
    When do we want it?
    In due course.

    Anybody else sick to the back teeth of the hysterical attention seeking yet?
    You are gay, we get it, so what. Move on. We have.”

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  30. I guess then BJ, we can expect your green hypocrite mates to stop using the words ‘fundamentalist Christian’ and also stop throwing ‘homophobe’ around so frequently to anyone that has even a gentle disagreement with a homosexual.

    Wouldn’t want anyone to have hurt feelings after all.

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  31. Sorry Shunda –

    A intolerant fundamentalist is, whether a Tea Partier or a Taleban, going to catch it from me and rightfully so… because intolerance is a choice. So is fundamentalism, but if it is without intolerance it is tolerable and I probably won’t have a go at the belief structure ( just the non-scientific bits ).

    Similarly with Homophobes. Intolerance does not get a pass, ever. It is not unusual that someone is simply uncomfortable around them. I myself can be mildly uncomfortable… simply part of my upbringing… but I know from long experience that it is an unjustified response. Not, as it has been claimed in some parts of the US, the basis for justifiable homicide.

    You aren’t intolerant as a rule, so I don’t razz you. DO I!? :-)

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  32. You aren’t intolerant as a rule, so I don’t razz you. DO I!?

    Nope, you seem to have ‘respectful disagreement’ down to an art form, and I wish I could emulate that! :)

    I’m a bit more hot headed, but hey, we are what we are and I think we are better to say how we feel and modify it latter than be too scared to say anything at all. You can’t steer a ship that isn’t moving.

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  33. Its old age mate. That’s all.

    I’ve simply had a lot more mistakes to learn from :-)

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  34. Jackal says “I personally find Key’s use of the word in that way offensive,”

    Spam hit the nail on the head.

    Your outrage is so obviously false.

    Ditto with greenfly – someone who has has written some of the most abusive expletive filled posts I’ve ever seen on this site, then turns around and shows obviously false outrage that he’s worried about people being offened and hurt by remarks about…. a shirt.

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  35. Photonz1 and Key have much in common, not the least being a propensity for making stuff up to suit the moment.
    Photonz1 claims there is outrage. OUTRAGE!!!.
    There is no outrage.
    Show us the outrage, son.
    And then back up your claim that this gentle greenfly has written “expletive filled posts”.

    Yours in eager anticipation
    Greenfly

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  36. Photonz – Writing rubber checks against the reality account again I see? Spam too for that matter.

    Not understanding who they hurt is a symptom of National’s illness.

    Not remembering who said what OTOH, is more likely a symptom of alzheimer’s :-)

    However it works out though, the end result is the same… a far more pressure laden and abusive environment for one segment of our society. I see the excuses. I refuse to forgive them because I understand the lies behind them. I do think Photonz should try to remember some of our slanging matches better, and the participants… and if PhilU were still here (( FROG!! Forgive him already!!! Geez!! )) I suspect the memory of just where the expletive laden posts come from might be a bit clearer.

    :-)

    In other words you feckin’ moron…

    ….don’t insult yer betters and quit lyin’ about what you can’t understand…

    …wingnut jerkwads don’t know anything about how Greens think….

    …and you’ve proved YOUR complete feckin ignorance repeatedly.

    — and yet not a word of that is as damaging as the pejorative usage of the word “gay” for none of it strikes to a forming identity.

    Sometimes I suspect that there IS a genetic component to the inability to understand social consequences. It seems inconceivable to me that anyone could simply accidentally manage to be so consistently and powerfully ignorant of them.

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  37. Thanks BJ. I was explaining hypocracy to my kids, and you’ve just given the perfect example – a complaint about abuse, followed by an abusive tirade.

    As for greenfly wanting examples of his abuse. I did a search and accidentally all sorts of his abuse all over the internet – numerous complaints on numerous blogs, all about exactly the same thing as he does here – continually personally abuse people instead of debating the subject.

    If only his Green ethics were half as stong as his need to abuse people.

    Then he feigns false offence about a red shirt.

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  38. The National party are the masters of abuse and negative stereotype smears and lets face it outright lies. They use divide and conquer

    They abuse parliament and abuse their power in appointing jobs for all their mates and sycophants.

    Its easy to teach about their abuses because they are so blatant http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/search/label/Cronyism

    A daily reading of NoRightTurn and critical thinking skills should be taught in schools ……

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  39. Glad to be of service, but you’d want to be careful, as your kids might learn the wrong lesson… that was intentional irony, used sarcastically, and a fairly complex writing style. If it overshot the mark you can draw the lesser conclusion :-)

    Drawing attention to Phil’s absence in the bargain, as well as giving an example of what real abuse is, as opposed to what you generally get from us.

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  40. We’ve spoken harshly to photonz1 and he’s beside himself with indignation and hurt.
    Poor wee mousey.
    Anyone willing to point out to him the correct spelling of ‘hypocrisy’?
    I’m loathe to startle him further.

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  41. ” someone who has has written some of the most abusive expletive filled posts I’ve ever seen on this site”

    Couldn’t you paste at least one example, photonz1, for old-time’s sake? For the sake of your credibility?

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  42. 1. There is an interaction between language and other aspects of culture. Language is not necessarily value-neutral (“it’s just a word”). In this case the new meaning of the word relies on, and reinforces, an equation of homosexuality with negative attributes.

    Only if you choose to see it that way.
    Surprisingly, gay people have no issue using the word ‘queer’ which always meant ‘odd’ and ‘abnormal’, so what gives Kevin?

    2. Samiam is quite right. Harm is not created by the intent of the speaker, but by the perception of, and impact on, the person hearing it. This impact is likely to be highly specific to the characteristics of this person.

    In other words, impossible to quantify.

    It would be great if we had a society that gave every vulnerable young person the emotional resilience to deal with whatever came their way. But in the absence of that, isn’t there some kind of responsibility on us all to do our best to act (and speak) in ways that don’t hurt people?

    No, actually, there isn’t any specific responsibility at all. We can make judgements on those individuals that speak in certain ways, but to push responsibility is to flirt with the prospect of forcing it upon people. Have you ever tried forcing someone that isn’t responsible to be responsible Kevin? it just doesn’t work.

    It seems incredible to me that there is serious debate about whether or not young gay people are vulnerable, but then I have to remind myself that relatively few of us have been through that experience.

    Utter nonsense. I have told you before about the strong homophobic abuse I was subjected to, and indeed many other straight kids were as well when I was at school.
    Bullying is a universal problem, not even homophobic abuse is specific to homosexuals.

    Pretty much every young gay person has grown up absolutely surrounded by family, friends, school and culture that reinforce an assumption of heterosexuality. With few exceptions, young people themselves have assumed themselves to be heterosexual. It comes as a complete shock to have the dawning realisation that they are not. At this point they feel unhinged and incredibly alone, acutely aware that they are going to confound and probably disappoint everyone who matters to them. At the same time they are likely to have little support and be very aware of the pervasive hostility to homosexuality that is signalled by acts such as the use of the word “gay” to mean a whole bunch of bad things.

    What is homosexuality? If we look at it from a purely biological perspective, it is a biological anomaly in the human species in the order of 1-3% of a given population.
    Biological anomalies of any species always have a hard time on planet earth, evolution is cruel and uncaring.
    Using the word “gay” pales into insignificance in this regard. Personally, because of my beliefs, I think we should love and care for all people regardless, but the natural order does no such thing. Species all over this planet consistently isolate and shun individuals that are ‘different’. This is what homosexuals are really facing.

    If we can do something about that, shouldn’t we?

    We teach all our kids that picking on people that are different is wrong and cruel, we teach them that God loves all people regardless of their differences and he offers them love and comfort to find their way in life.

    Other than that, the natural order will continue its ancient history of isolating and eliminating ‘differences’ that differ more than the average of a population.

    Perhaps you shouldn’t be so hostile toward Christians.

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  43. I wonder what frog bloggers think of the homosexual band “home brew” and the language they used at the NZ music awards? (a tax payer subsidized event).

    Calling the Prime Minister a “c#nt”, that “should suck their dicks” seems an order of magnitude more destructive than “gay red top”.

    What do you think?

    And what do you think about the Labour party actively supporting these bigots?

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  44. Shunda

    It is like racism, only the majority can be labelled.

    terms like Homophobic, Racist, Bigot, etc. are all one way terms to spread guilt.

    Simply dont buy into the guilt and let this straight hating “pop” group have their democratic right to free speech.

    Hypocracy abounds but who cares, just let it slide with a “whatever”.

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  45. Green Party MP Kevin Hague challenged a Catholic group which had argued that biological parents gave their children a better upbringing.

    “Can you explain to me how my getting married to my same-sex partner actually threatens children in any way?”

    Kevin, the evidence is that children not raised by biological parents are more likely to be abused. So if their argument is based on research accept this. No need to find the argument compelling though and here is why.

    1. Civil unions do not enable partners to become parents of the others children as a marriage does. Allowing same sex partners to be married does not cause any risk to the children already in their care of itself.

    2. the record of child abuse of non biological children in their care comes from heterosexual couple households.

    Why?

    The natural world gives us some cause to reflect on the behaviour of “step-parents” – the new male (say tiger) often kills off any “children of the old mate”. This dynamic may be manifested within our human society as resentment of some men to the existence of children born to an earlier partner (a form of control of the woman otherwise manifest in the demand for virgin wives who remain loyal to their man). This does not apply in the case of same sex partners, as they cannot breed together, only raise children of each other together. Thus there is reason to presume that same sex parents pose lower levels of risk to children of partners who are in their care. Thus it is unlikely that evidence will be found that same sex couples raising up children pose as much risk as heterosexual couples, let alone a greater one.

    Thus evidence only gives one pause to note an increased risk to a child when a new heterosexual male partner comes into a family situation.

    If this was reason to deny anyone marriage – why not deny heterosexuals the chance to remarry after a divorce (this is actually the position taken by the early church). But then the greater risk to the children is if the new male partner is only a de facto one or there are many of them – marriage actually reduces the risk.

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