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Wilde: Wall needs glbti support in Sth Auckland

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 1st December 2012

Louisa Wall and Fran Wilde last night
A seasoned campaigner for equality for gay people is urging the glbti communities to visibly get behind MP Louisa Wall as she leads the charge for marriage equality.

Speaking at the opening of the National Marriage Equality Conference in Wellington last evening Fran Wilde, who helmed the hard-won 1980s fight for the decriminalisation of homosexuality, called for the community to ensure it supports Wall, especially in her electorate of Manurewa where, she says, media reports make it seem like the entire Polynesian population is against her.

Headlines out of South Auckland in recent weeks have focused on gatherings such as the anti-gay gathering of Tongan churchgoers and the campaigning against marriage equality by Wall's fellow Labour MP from the neighbouring Manurewa electorate, Su'a William Silo. Both electorates have a high proportion of residents of Pacific Island origin whose strong allegiance to their conservative Christian churches is engendering opposition to equality for glbti people.

The lack of a visible pro-equality presence in South Auckland could create even more of a groundswell against the
Marriage Equality bill and her promotion of the bill could hurt Wall's chances of being returned to Parliament at the next general election. Wilde urges Aucklanders to attend rallies and events against Wall’s legislation and to stand up for her, to make it clearer she has a community behind her.

Seeking to emphasise the positive, Wall noted that opposition to glbti progress is, however, not universal in South Auckland. “We love our takataapui whanau, we love our fa’afafine whanau,” she says she was told by people who approached her on a visit to Otara Markets on Saturday. “You’re being so brave, we support you, well done,” she says they said, thanking her.

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