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Mana staffer escapes Parliament punishment

Aug 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

THE  SPEAKER’S office has not disciplined a Mana Party staffer who filmed a music video on Parliament grounds without permission.

The  three-minute film features transsexual Georgina Beyer dressed as the pope while marrying two men.

It was released by Jevan Goulter, who is employed by Parliamentary Services as executive assistant to Hone Harawira. Mr Goulter, 23, also ran for mayor of Wanganui.

He says he intended the video for use on the internet and TV.

The Speaker’s office says Mr Goulter, pictured above right with Mr Harawira, did not request formal permission before filming on Parliament grounds and that an application for filming for commercial purposes would have been declined.

After the video was released last month the Speaker’s office declined to say whether it would discipline Mr Goulter.

He says he did not have to go far to find inspiration for the song.

“Singers write about what they’re inspired by and that comes across through the lyrics of their songs. When you listen to my song you’ll hear my name a few times and that’s what inspired me.”

The video ends with Ms Beyer, the world’s first transsexual mayor and MP, holding a crucifix towards the camera while saying: “Is that ‘T’ for ‘trannie?’”

Mr Goulter (right with Ms Beyer) says the controversial themes in the video are designed to shine a light on the issue of marriage equality for homosexual couples. He does not care if the video offends.

“What do I think about the people it does offend? Quite frankly, they need to loosen the hell up.”

If the Catholic church could not get over a “little verbal burp in the cameo of a music video” then something is wrong.

Ms Beyer shares those sentiments: “I’ve got no problem if [the Catholic Church] is offended.”

She says she is not trying to be controversial.

“I performed in the video because it’s a bit of fun and as a favour for a friend.”

The Catholic Church says they are entitled to voice their opinions under the democratic process all New Zealanders have a right too.

“The Catholic Church and its symbols are often lampooned or mocked, in this case we’d point out that the Catholic Church is merely participating in the democratic process as all New Zealanders have the right to do and we hope for fair and respectful debate,” it said in a statement.

Rainbow Wellington secretary Tony Reed is not concerned the video might have negative consequences for those fighting for marriage equality. He found the reference to the issue hard to spot.

“I had to watch the video twice before I realised the marriage equality angle. It had a fleeting reference at the end, but it seemed to be all about ‘I’m Jevan, me, me, me’.”

The Wellington chair of youth wing Mana Rangatahi, Ian Anderson, believes Ms Beyer should not be worried if the video alienates others.

“Georgina has a right to present as she sees fit,” he says.

“It’s dangerous to think about whether something will alienate someone. Social mores used to dictate that being openly gay could alienate someone.”

Mr Harawira was not available for comment.

The video, which also features local pop artist PattyBoy, has received mainly negative comments since it was released to YouTube last weekend.

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