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Monday, 25 September 2017 10:42 pm

Candidate comments booed by LGBTQI crowd in Wellington

ACT’s Stephen Berry defended free speech, while attacking Brain Tamaki as a “scumbag”

ACT candidate Stephen Berry Berry was booed by a LGBTQI crowd in Wellington on Tuesday for favouring free speech over hate speech law.

Berry called Brian Tamaki a “scumbag piece of ****” but defended the rights of pastors such as Tamaki and Logan Robertson to use hate speech.

Auckland pastor Robertson last week said gay people should be shot in the head when they marry.

Berry described homophobic and transphobic rhetoric as disgusting, but says New Zealand should embrace free speech and not pass any hate speech laws.

“In a free country, freedom of speech is about the most important thing we have,” Berry told the Rainbow Forum which focused on LGBTQI.

“And so that’s why we cannot have laws banning hate speech.

“I think Brian Tamaki, he’s a scumbag piece of ****. But he has the right to his ***** views and we also have the right to call him out on how ***** his views are.”

Labour’s Grant Robertson says New Zealand’s hate speech laws need to be amended

Labour Wellington Central MP, Grant Robertson says the law needs to be amended.

“I think we have to have a serious look at our hate speech laws in New Zealand,” said after speaking at the meeting.

“It’s pretty hard to believe that pastor saying that gay men deserve to be killed is not a definition of which some action could be taken.”

Jan Logie of the Greens says the resources to foster a community spirit is the true answer to combating hate speech.

“It’s around hate speech,” Logie says

“But it’s also around the resources of building our communities and opportunities to interact with different people so that we’re less likely to have these ridiculous myths about others.”

National’s Nicola Willis said it was politicians duty to call out hate speech

National’s candidate Nicola Willis said hate speech is “disgusting” and it’s the duty of New Zealand’s politicians to call it out.

“I do have respect for the notion of free speech,” Willis told the crowd.

“But where that starts going downhill into being violent speech, no, we must use the law to come down on those things.”

However when asked after the meeting about amending New Zealand’s hate speech laws, she was cautious.

“No I wouldn’t rush into that,” she said.

“But I would say that his [the pastors] comments were absolutely disgusting and it was good to see the unity in condemnation that he made those comments.”

Hate speech regarding race or ethnic background is illegal due to the Human Rights Act of 1993.

However the Bill does not include violent speech against gender or LGBTQI people.

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