The Government MP has called for the establishment of a Minister responsible for rainbow issues saying “I think that’s something we could absolutely do with.”
Tamati Coffey made the comments during a Facebook Live interview with Newshub Nation.
Elected to parliament in 2017 as the MP for Waiariki, Coffey has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBT issues and was a prominent campaigner for marriage equality during his time as a presenter at TVNZ.
Coffey says that while significant progress had been made for LGBT New Zealanders, there are still challenges which remain.
Coffey says that having children is still a obstacle for many within the LGBT community saying: “It’s not easy to be a gay couple that is trying to embark on having a family, there’s quite a few hoops we need to jump through but we feel ready,” he said.
“When I came out one of the reasons I didn’t want to come out was because I thought to myself that means I won’t be able to have kids…but actually it’s 2018, we have the wonders of modern science.
“We’ve moved as a society into a place where actually being gay is not a terrible thing, it’s not illegal anymore, actually you can be the person you want to be and if you want to have a family you just need to make it happen.”
The establishment of such a role would not be a world first, a fact the Dancing with The Stars 2009 champion points out in the Newshub Nation interview saying “In Canada I know they’ve got a Minister that’s in charge of I think it’s diversity and equity and equality, and I think that’s something we could absolutely do with someone in that kind of role down here in Wellington.”
A similar role also exists in the Australian state of Victoria with a Minister of Equality having been established in 2014.