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Banks denies voicing anti-gay rhetoric

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By News Staff - 5th September 2007

Despite documented evidence to the contrary, Auckland Mayoral hopeful and long-time homophobe John Banks tonight outright denied using anti-gay rhetoric in the years since his last attempt to court the votes of gay and lesbian Aucklanders.

Banks was one of seven mayoral hopefuls who accepted an invitation by the Gay Auckland Business Association to address its Mayoral Forum.

Reminded that he once referred to 'six inches of barbed wire shoved up gay mens arses' as 'a waste of good barbed wire,' Banks was questioned on the apparent hypocrisy of seeking gay votes for his unsuccessful mayoral bid in 2004, then continuing to demean gays as perverts and same sex intimacy as filthy, until he returned to tonight's forum again pitching for votes. The ex-mayor of Auckland, who claims strong support from gay businesspeople, brusquely told the assembled gay and lesbian audience that there is "no evidence" that he has used such anti-gay rhetoric between Forums.

But a quick search of's reporting of Banks' public anti-gay statements and innuendos voiced on his Radio Pacific talkback show reveals that he has made numerous anti-gay statements in that period.

In July 2005 he referred to men having sex with men in a Timaru public toilet as getting up to "filthy business amongst each other," and raised the spectre of a boy entering the toilets being "inflicted with these perverts." On the same subject he favourably compared the attitude of Islamic teachings on homosexual sex to the situation in New Zealand. "It's a filthy little country we're developing here," he said, ..."it's quite disgusting. I mean the Koran... wouldn't tolerate that. In the Koran it says that those sorts of acts should be met by the death penalty, by stoning..." The Koran makes no mention of sex in public toilets but does have a proscriptive position on men having sex, even consensually, with men.

In October 2005, while suggesting that traditional Labour voters should change their votes, Banks wistfully eulogised 1970s Labour Prime Minister Norman Kirk and cited his homophobia as an example of values which have been lost to the current Labour Party.

In March 2006 he described the proud gay Maori men on a NZ AIDS Foundation Safe Sex poster as "deadbeat losers".

In September 2006, following revelations that a man had kissed the Prime Minister's husband on the lips during heated election night celebrations, Banks stated: "I actually thought it was quite filthy." The man who kissed the PM's husband Peter Davis was a gay long-time supporter of the Labour Party.

Banks has a long history of anti-gay pronouncements. In 1986, as the Homosexual Law Reform Bill reached its final reading, Banks described it as "evil." He said "this "day will be remembered as a sad and sickening day for New Zealand. A very black cloud tonight and those members who wheel themselves through the doors of the Ayes lobby to vote for legalised sodomy at the age of 16 should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves." Another historical gem, this time from the June 1993 parliamentary debates on outlawing discrimination against gays and lesbians (and others) on the basis of sexuality: "The problem with this homosexual business we've now made legal in his country," said Banks, "is that so many of these creeps have now boldly crept out of the wardrobe and parliament is soon going to legislate... to allow sexual deviants or people with sexual alternatives to work... with immunity."

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