Marvelly uses her mainstream media platform to respond

Lizzie Marvelly copped some flak for a tweet yesterday:

See O’Sullivan v Marvelly: “Media fought for the decriminalisation of homosexuality” and ‘Mainstream press’ warned off hijacking discussion around Pride Parade.

She has used the mainstream media fast lane to expand on her comment – NZ Herald: Pride Parade reaction utterly blown out of proportion

I have deliberately tried to stay out of the debate around the Pride Parade. As someone only recently out, I didn’t feel that it was my place to express a view, rightly or wrongly. Instead, I watched despairingly as an event that I held to be sacred was dragged through the headlines, smeared by one ignorant perspective after another. Finally, I couldn’t take it any more.

While I agonised over voicing an opinion, Mike Hosking, Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson, among others, waded into the debate with almost gleeful abandon. Three straight, cisgender, men with some of the loudest media megaphones in the whole country proceeded to present, in my view, some of the most ignorant commentary around the issue that I’ve seen. Nuance, and the other side of the story, quickly evaporated.

Garner elevated the discussion to the level of calling the Pride Parade organisers “precious wee sausages”, Mark Richardson pontificated about “intolerance”, and Mike Hosking, veering off on a tangent, even suggested the Pride Parade wasn’t necessary any more. “You can’t have it both ways: being gay is either no big deal, or it is still a big deal. Given it isn’t, why draw attention to it down a main street?” he said.

Actually putting Garber’s colourful language aside, he and Richardson have a valid point when you see the aims of the activist group that has allegedly been behind the police uniform ban in the Pride Parade – they want to release all prisoners, close prisons and disband the police force. Their website People Against Prisons Aotearoa is summarised by David Farrar in So how extreme are PAPA?:

  • child sexual abuse not to be a criminal offence the state criminalises, but dealt with by mediation and a conversation between the rapist and the child victim. Yes, they really are that bonkers.
  • Dissolve the Government’s non-public sex offender register
  • Ban the Police using tasers, guns and even dogs!
  • Not allow anyone aged under 18 to be charged with a criminal offence, even murder or rape
  • Defund and then abolish the NZ Police
  • No imprisonment for breaching bail or parole conditions
  • Make it illegal to discriminate against convicted criminals in employment decisions
  • Decriminalise welfare fraud
  • Close the NZ court system
  • Defund the Department of Corrections and then abolish all prisons

Back to Marvelly in the mainstream media:

The Pride Parade holds a special place in the hearts of many of the rainbow community. As such, it is devastating to see it imploding before our eyes, with funding yanked, and participants withdrawing. But the issue beneath the media storm, which includes allegations of continued police brutality against some of the trans community, is far more nuanced than has been communicated with the public. As far as PR disasters go, this one has turned into Cirque du bloody Soleil.

She may be right there. On the police issue:

I’m still formulating my views on the police uniform ban, but I strongly believe the reaction to it has been utterly blown out of proportion. The police were never uninvited from the parade, they were simply asked not to wear uniform. Instead of complying with the request, they withdrew from the parade altogether, inadvertently sending a message that they would only support the rainbow community on their own terms.

The police have a right to support the parade or not on their own terms. They didn’t like the terms given to them by organisers so they withdrew their support.

I don’t think this can be taken to mean “sending a message that they would only support the rainbow community on their own terms”. While the Pride Parade targets ‘the rainbow community’ I don’t think that it represents the wide and varied rainbow communities.

The several large corporates that withdrew their funding in support of the police’s stance arguably echoed the same sentiment, seeking to influence the outcome of a complicated discussion that needed to be worked through by the community itself.

The withdrawal of funding by some corporates may have been an overreaction but I don’t know the reasoning behind it – it is possible different corporates had different reasoning.

As a fair-skinned, straight-passing, cisgender woman, there are very few situations in which I would fear the police. That is an example of my privilege.

I won’t delve into what her self-description means, but her lack of fear of the police may have more to do with her behaviour and the situations she puts herself into (or avoids putting herself into) may have more to do with it than her ‘privilege’.

I (and I won’t even attempt to self-label) don’t fear the police because I avoid breaking the law and I don’t go places and events that would put me at risk of adverse police reactions.

I can understand that homosexual people in the past would fear what the police might do to them – our homosexual laws allowed for horrendous breaches of privacy with the risk of arrest and imprisonment simply for acting naturally.  But they were quashed last century, a number of decades ago. Things have gradually changed for the better, with much better and wider acceptance of various gender and sexual variations.

While it’s easy to assume, particularly if you live in a major urban centre, that the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights has been won, for many in our community, the fight to be accepted is still raging. I’ve been lucky to experience very little homophobia, but I’ve still been on the receiving end of stares and glares, even in Auckland. There are people in my life who haven’t been as accepting of my sexuality as I’d hoped. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a way to go.

We will always have a way to go in an imperfect world. Any of us can be subjected to ‘stares and glares’, or think we are.  I have been on the receiving end of ‘stare and glare’ type attention – and worse – because of the colour of my hair (different colours at different times of my life), because of the colour of my skin, because of my gender and because of my age. I have fared relatively well to my cousins who were homosexual or trans (three died young).

Things have improved, but prejudices and intolerance of others cannot be eliminated. That’s an unfortunate reality of human imperfection.

But people identifying as LGBTQ+ now live under the same laws as everyone, and have largely been accepted into society. It would be a shame if they evolved from being subjected too extreme intolerance to becoming intolerant of the inclusion of those who they don’t agree with.

Pride grew from a place of protest. As a movement, it has made many bold and, at the time, unpopular calls. Progress doesn’t come easily. But this discussion deserves respect and patience. It deserves, in short, far better than it got.

Perhaps the Pride Parade organisation deserved better than it got this year too. The ‘rainbow community’ has a way to go to deal with internal issues.



  1. lurcher1948

     /  November 24, 2018

    Well Aucklanders if you are that way inclined Wellington is having a parade that Aucklands fruitloops cannot ruin.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 24, 2018

    Too much Marvelly already. She is not important and certainly not as important as she thinks.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 24, 2018

      I see she was an only child which accounts for her princess complex.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 24, 2018

    In a continuation of blithering festive stupidity Santa has been sacked for being sexist:

    The cilture war is alive and well in God’s Own.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 24, 2018

      In Germany he was banned. Ja, er wass verboten.

  4. I think some liberals should have a look at this group with the acronym PAPA. This group thinks paedophilia should not be a crime.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  November 24, 2018

      I had heard of the group Pete quotes, but I didn’t know that they were so stupid that they imagine that a child abuser will be magically cured by a talk with the victim.

      My dear friend J was abused by a pastor when he was a child.

      ‘Well, J, I put my finger up your bum and then we did (this and that) because I said that it was a lovely way for people to get close to each other.* Did you like what we did, dear boy?’

      ‘Er…yes. Mr Pastor, it was nice and I liked it.’

      No problem, then, it’s quite true that J found it pleasurable.

      He also knew that it was dirty and that he was a dirty, bad boy for liking the way it felt, but he didn’t know how to stop it.

      It’s no surprise that the bad, dirty boy carried the guilt (!) and shame into adulthood and is
      now HIV.

      * this is what happened

  5. duperez

     /  November 24, 2018

    One of the problems with police highlighted through the discussions is that for all the corporate reality, they are individuals, individual people with all the qualities and personal foibles and perspectives and attitudes we’d expect. And probably want and should have. (Just like we do of teachers I suppose.)

    The reality is different. Perfection is impossible. Well, impossible to have in those jobs anyway, because most of us who’d fit that bill are here on the sidelines. 😶

  6. Missy

     /  November 24, 2018

    With regards to the comments regarding police brutality, that this group made the main argument for asking them not to wear uniforms, I don’t doubt some in the past (and still) have levels of homophobia, but it has never been always that way.

    One of my Grandfathers cousins was gay, in the 1940’s he was beaten to death when out cottaging. The man who beat him was known to the police, this was not the first time he had beaten a gay man, but the other victims survived and refused to lay charges for fear of themselves being prosecuted for homosexual activity. From all the reports the police did an amazing job to apprehend the offender, and the courts rightly convicted him of murder. This all with the circumstances of his murder being well known, the only part his sexuality appeared to play (based on the reports) was in terms of the motive of the killer, not in any other context. It appeared the police in no way behaved unprofessionally despite the victim being gay and the victim of a homophobic attack, despite this being a time when homophobia would have been rife, and despite being a time when homosexuality was illegal.

  7. Ray

     /  November 24, 2018

    Well I just hope every one who attends the Pride Parade goes as their favourite persona in the Village Peope….the cop

  8. PDB

     /  November 24, 2018

    One can only take from this that Marvelly supports some of the P.A.P.A policies?

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  November 24, 2018

      To be fair to her (why? you ask) there are a huge range of child sexual abuse circumstances and I would agree a court process is not always the best outcome for the child (even if you can still call up to 18 year olds children). That would be something I would be wary of were it be my family. The reaction of others can easily make things better or worse and make the victim feel good about themselves or bad.

  9. FarmerPete

     /  November 24, 2018

    I have stopped listening to the LGBQ etc community as they have become more strident and in some cases just plain ridiculous. Recently the University of Arizona proudly put out a statement welcoming a staff member who identified as a hippopotamus, and there have been several instances of people professing love for public buildings. One women wanted to marry a public library. And there have been muted voices (so far) postulating that pedophiles identify as young people and therefore their behaviour should not be criminal. When I did my clinical psych degree (admittedly a long time ago) such behaviour was accepted as being deviant and requiring therapy.

  1. Marvelly uses her mainstream media platform to respond — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition