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New Labour line-up includes gay & pro-gay MPs

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 23rd September 2013

Shadow Leader of the House, gay MP Grant Robertson
Three gay MPs and several of their proven pro-gay colleagues are in Labour's new shadow cabinet after changes were announced by new party leader David Cunliffe this afternoon.

Grant Robertson, previously deputy leader under David Shearer, did not make himself available again for that role but now is in the number three slot, with the Employment, Skills and Training role giving him some input into Labour's economic policy. He also picks up Tertiary Education, Associate Arts, Heritage and Culture and is the Shadow Leader of the House.

Louisa Wall, in the number 16 slot, retains Youth Affairs and is also spokesperson for Community & Voluntary Sector, Associate Social Development, Associate Sport & Recreation and Associate Auckland Issues (South Auckland).

Maryan Street, who supported Robertson's leadership bid against Cunliffe, has been given the State Services portfolio and is ranked 12th.

Street's previous Environment portfolio has gone to glbti-friendly Moana Mackey. Another supporter of gay equality and causes, Jacinda Adern, is now spokesperson for Arts, Culture and Heritage and also Children, Police and Corrections. She is number six in the ranking.

Phil Goff, a long-term supporter of glbti causes and who is currently still trying to get to the bottom of the death in Afghanistan of gay soldier Dougie Hughes, retains Defence, Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Veterans' Affairs and Associate Foreign Affairs.

In what appears to be a generally gay-positive shadow cabinet, two other proven pro-gay long-term Labour MPs also have spokesperson roles. Ruth Dyson, who chaired the Marriage Equality Select Committee last year, has Conservation, Senior Citizens, Disability Issues, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery and Land Information. Trevor Mallard, who was numbers man for the ground-breaking mid-1980s legislation decriminalising homosexual intimacy, is spokesperson for Internal Affairs (including Ministerial Services), Sport and Recreation, America’s Cup and Associate Finance.

The most anti-gay equality member of Cunliffe's shadow cabinet is Mangere MP Su’a William Sio, who campaigned vociferously against Marriage Equality which he threatened would lose Labour a significant following amongst Pacific Island communities. He has been given
Pacific Island Affairs, Local Government, Interfaith Dialogue and Associate Social Development responsibilities.

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