“homosexuals are now saying they want to be treated the same as other people. In my view, the sad fact is – although some will find this difficult to take – they are not the same.” – Gerry Brownlee | 2004
LGBT Kiwis online are drawing attention to the comments of deputy leader of the National Party Gerry Brownlee, who said in 2004 that gay and lesbian New Zealanders were “not the same” as heterosexual ones and therefore should not have access to legal recognition of their relationships.
Brownlee made the comments, not in regards to marriage equality, but while voting against civil unions in 2004, legislation that wouldn’t even give those in same-sex relationships equal recognition under the law.
The renewed attention on Brownlee’s comments come as openly gay comedian Tom Sainsbury, most known for his hilarious impersonations of former deputy leader Paula Bennett posts a new video portraying National’s new deputy as a closet camp queen.
While Sainsbury portrays Brownlee as a Sound of Music loving ’old flaming poof,’ the then and current deputy leader of the National Party said in opposing Labour’s civil union legalisation that “homosexuals are now saying they want to be treated the same as other people. In my view, the sad fact is – although some will find this difficult to take – they are not the same.”
While National Party leader Judith Collins joined Brownlee in voting against civil unions in 2004, she would vote in favour of marriage equality in 2013.
Brownlee voted against both pieces of legislation.