OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with New Zealand

Slap reader Daniel sends us this crazy bit of news: A doctor in Sydney, Australia has prescribed chemical castration drugs to an 18 year old New Zealand patient in an attempt to “cure” his homosexually. Cyproterone acetate blocks production of testosterone, mostly eliminating sexual drive in males. Luckily, the Medical Council of NSW did some of their own elimination after a thorough review of the case, banning the 75 year old doctor from practicing medicine outside the field of radiology.

“Curing” Gays Isn’t Charity

September 1st, 2010

A man asks for charity status for his organization which shoves gays head first into boxes of spiders.

New Zealand has tossed a purely anti-gay organization to the curb after it had applied for charitable status in the country.

Exodus Global Alliance, an U.S.-based religious organisation whose goal is to keep alive the myth that gay people can be cured through reparative therapy and prayer, was seeking tax benefits through charitable status before it was soundly rejected. The commission reviewing the application was thorough in their justification, noting that since homosexuality was not a recognized mental disorder, it did not need curing. While the commission cited the American Psychological Association in their decision, they could have just as easily added the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counselling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and several other well-respected organisations who have all gone on record to say that sexual orientation not only isn’t a disorder, and not only can’t be changed, but that all attempts to treat homosexuality as a disorder can cause significant psychological harm.

Knowing this, Exodus has been very careful recently when advertising its claims. A careful observer will note that they don’t even define what they mean when they say homosexuals can “change” (normally this amounts to promoting lifelong chastity). Still, that doesn’t stop countless people from trying their methods, fed by the bizarre claim that there are tens of thousands of “ex-gays” out there.

In reality, Exodus is doing demonstrable, but incalculable, harm to people everywhere. The ministries’ success stories amount, essentially, to brainwashing. A large number of participants end up confused and depressed after being taught to hate their natural sexual orientation. It’s not a surprise therefore that the group’s failures are spectacular. Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, two of Exodus’ co-founders, quit the group shortly after they formed it and married each other in a commitment ceremony. In 2007, two other former Exodus leaders joined Bussee and issued an apology for their role in the organisation, saying that they are all openly gay. Just this year, Bussee confessed that he had never seen one Exodus member actually change their sexual orientation.

Given all this, it’s expected that New Zealand would have rejected the application for charitable status, but it’s not a surprise that Exodus was seeking it. Exodus is primarily a religious organisation with a strong political goal that relies on the worldwide spread of their myth. Anti-gay lobby groups use the existence of organisations like Exodus to promote the notion that there is no such thing as gay people—only straight people who are caught in sin. And with no such thing as a real gay person, there’s no need for equal rights such as marriage, employment and housing protections, and so forth.

Good for New Zealand for siding with the medical community and seeing through all of Exodus’ nonsense. It’s too bad Canada isn’t as wise in this respect. Exodus Global Alliance is, sadly, a registered charity in Canada.

Super hat tip goes to Arthur at AmeriNZ for the story!

Names Will Never Hurt Me

April 16th, 2010

Guest Slap

I’m über stoked to introduce today’s special guest author. Arthur is a gay American who moved to New Zealand in 1995. Blogging and podcasting as AmeriNZ, Arthur regularly offers an international perspective on culture and politics.

“Names will never hurt me.” Maybe not, but there are some names that aren’t acceptable or, at least, that’s what the New Zealand public thinks.

The agency responsible for determining what can’t be broadcast in New Zealand is the Broadcast Standards Authority. In order to know what “community standards” are, they periodically poll the New Zealand public. In their latest report, two words used against gay men made the top ten list of unacceptable “swear words.”

The BSA’s report, “What Not to Swear,” was based on a poll conducted by AC Nielsen. They added eight words that hadn’t been included before, among them, “faggot.” That word came in at number nine, deemed unacceptable by 46% of those surveyed. Critics have pointed out that a majority of New Zealanders think the word is acceptable under some circumstances. However, context matters and that doesn’t mean that Kiwis believe the word is always acceptable.

Another anti-gay epithet is at number five, rejected by 60% of New Zealanders. Demureness forbids me from mentioning that word, or the rest of the words on the list (the complete report can be found on the BSA website), but the word refers to a man who engages in a particular sexual activity that women may also do.
Language evolves over time, and so do community standards, which is why the BSA surveys the public from time to time. Basically, they’re snapshots of contemporary New Zealand society.

New Zealand has evolved a lot in just 25 years, especially when it comes to GLBT issues. The fact that two anti-gay epithets make the top ten list of least acceptable “swear words” suggests that NZ society has become one that knows homophobia is wrong. Or maybe they just know not to say such words publicly.

Ultimately, of course, it’s up to people to police themselves and to refrain from using words that are deliberately hurtful or demeaning. Surveys like this show how much progress we’re making in doing so. New Zealand is in a reasonably good space. In fact, I’d swear to it.

To hear more from Arthur, check out the AmeriNZ blog and podcast.

Schools Demand Signed Declaration For Gay Students

September 3rd, 2008

Four schools in Auckland, New Zealand, have barred students from taking same-sex partners to the prom unless they sign a contract declaring they are homosexual, according to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission.

Sarafin Dillon, an education officer for Rainbow Youth, was disappointed by the reports, saying that forcing students to sign contracts would only increase “the ridicule and the whispers” that gay students face.

A spokesperson for the schools responded by nervously wielding a torch and backing into a corner, stuttering “Reveal yourselves! Where are you? Show yourselves! GAAAAH!