Media ID 0502-A
Public meeting (11 July 1985) to launch the ‘Coalition to Support the Bill’
Bill Logan, Shirley Smith, Tighe Instone, Trevor Mallard, unidentified speakers
Refer also to 0502-B
This summary gives general themes as to the content of this recording. It is not a verbatim transcript. Always refer back to the original audio. This is a working document and any amendments/corrections are welcome.
Public meeting (11 July 1985) to launch the Coalition to Support the Bill. This was a coalition of the numerous special focus groups and constituency groups - such as Gay Task Force, HUG and Lesbian Coalition - formed to enable wider support for public campaigns.
Introduction – meeting to set-up a coalition to work with and alongside the gay and lesbian community .. making sure the Bill goes through unamended.. Introducing Tighe Instone
Tighe Instone – I’m focusing my attention on lesbian issues.. why is the Bill an issue for lesbians.. while the law discriminates against gay men it condones discrimination against us all.. presently we have no recourse in cases of discrimination.. the discrimination is always there.. and we have to adapt and live with it.
Instone – In the last four months we’ve had to learn how to live with hatred.. they are anti alternative or change.. lesbians provide visible proof of women’s ability to lead independent, self-determined lives.. invisibility ..we become nameless, faceless people..
Instone – we need help to fight the fundamentalist forces.. we have called this meeting and established the fighting funding.. fighting for the freedom of all New Zealanders.. mobilise action and support.. broaden the campaign..
Instone – motion.. draft of direction: that this meeting set up a Coalition to support the Homosexual Law Reform Bill un-amended.. women’s rights.. sex education in schools.. Maori.. defending all democratic rights.. we offer this for your consideration.. [applause]
Introducing Trevor Mallard
Trevor Mallard discusses tactics
Trevor Mallard – good to see a wide range of people.. it’s an issue that could go either way.. this is not only an issue for gays and lesbians.. it has a lot of legal implications for straight people.. the Bill is a target for fundamentalist groups.. there are other groups at risk – racism, sexism, women..
Mallard – the fundamentalists are right in the political systems of the US and Australia.. Graeme Lee in New Zealand. they’re very well funded.. from here and overseas.. they haven’t had to call on the troops for funding..
Mallard – my purpose here is to tell you what you can do .. and give you a progress report.. the best thing you can do is visit your local member of Parliament.. age of consent and human rights – both issues are at risk .. write to the leader of the Opposition, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.. let them know where you stand politically.
Mallard – put the pressure on Jim McLay..
Mallard – monitor and write to the newspapers.. talkback is a very effective means of communicating with people.. it is monitored closely.. role-play with tricky questions.. go to other groups .. get them to approach their MPs.. involve your friends.. talk to people about the Bill in workplaces, sports clubs, pubs – it’s very easy to convince reasonable people..
Mallard – Timetable .. in about September or October the Bill will be referred back to the House.. description of procedures.. the point is that we have to have a steady effort.. there is general agreement that these type of Bills are pretty devastating .. get it through pretty quickly..
Mallard – I think the tide has turned.. public opinion is going the right way.. this is an issue for every person in New Zealand..
Thanking the members at the meeting who have stopped smoking.. Introducing Shirley Smith
Shirley Smith – All my life I’ve been on the anti-establishment side..
Smith – Started my career as a Classical student.. Sappho’s love poetry.. homosexuality was regarded as normal.. I know I could have had homosexual relations.. it wasn’t until last Century that male homosexuality was made illegal..
Smith – in my practise.. all the things in the Crimes Act are against the law.. just saying something is against the law isn’t going to stop it happening.. Keith Hay saying ‘homosexuality has got to be stopped’.. simple minded..
Smith – I had no idea that in this country we had people with such appalling hate.. thank goodness the tide is turning..
Bill Logan – we want equality.. we want freedom from the fear.. we want the structure of homophobia taken apart.. it’s not homosexuality that is the problem.. it’s the irrational fear.. homophobia is a social evil.. This started as a campaign for us.. but it’s become a pivotal issue in New Zealand politics.. a fight to preserve a certain openness.. The gay and lesbian community needs to look beyond our communities for support.. Support from HUG [Homosexuals Unafraid of Gays].. we have averaged 2% more support every month.. but we need to keep changing opinion.. building events..
Logan – the opposition.. one of the distressing things is the lowest level of support is among young adults.. we have got to go into the Trade Unions and say that the oppression of the homosexuals is against their interests .. gays to a lot of people seem free and irresponsible.. there is resentment.. I hesitate to talk about fascism.. but there is a climate that is proto-fascist.. eight members of the National Party voted against sex education..
Logan - Concerned Citizens Coalition.. the main opposition.. it is a front for the Reformed Church of New Zealand.. the Reformed Church has 2,500 members.. Reading material from the Church: woman was created differently from man.. in a Christian world-view human rights is a secondary view.. the human rights movement must be stoutly resisted.. the Christian faith rejects democracy..
Logan – they’re not a kooky fringe group.. they are the opposition.. closely aligned to the League of Rights.. the reason for reading that stuff is to assert the need for a broad campaign to contain this.. if we don’t have a victory here they will have victory here (applause)
Trade Unions .. [continues on 0502-B]