I don’t accept the view that he is picked on because he is gay. He is picked on because there is a common view that he has travelled too much. But there is no doubt that lots of people are putting an extra boot into Chris because he is gay. One only has to look at Whaleoil (yes I did) or many comments on Kiwiblog to see the bile that homophobes are writing.
All of us make mistakes in our jobs. Sometimes we don’t see it. I’ve had a few examples. Would have been better for my career if I didn’t call Tau Uncle Tom or if I kept some space between us.
Now Trevor Mallard is not entirely a babe in the woods when it comes to homophobia. So we helpfully added this comment
Inventory2 says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Trevor – I commend you for your loyalty to a colleague, especially one you admit you are not close to. However, when you are making accusations about homophobia, maybe you ought to preface it with some self-condemnation of a certain interjection that you made against Christopher Finlayson last October, which is recorded in Hansard. Perhaps it can be explained under the “We all make mistakes at work” banner.
It's since been moderated, with a comment from Trevor Mallard who says "I understand what homophobia is". Indeed he does; check this out, from the Hansard of Question Time, Thursday 15 October 2009 - it's the crossover between Q11 (to Christopher Finlayson) and Q12:
Hon Steve Chadwick: Will he provide an answer assuring that there will be no decrease in Government funding for the arts and culture sector as a result of any increase in charitable giving by private individuals to the arts and cultural institutions?
Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: I am seeking to grow the arts budget. I have made it clear on a number of occasions that the Government has very real responsibilities to fund the arts and that, in addition, the increase in funding from private and corporate sources will encourage an explosion in the arts.
12. Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Labour—Hutt South) to the Minister of Education: Does she stand by her reported statement that—[Interruption] Tinkerbell, can you settle down?
Mr SPEAKER: That is not acceptable. I ask the House to come to order. The member asking the question often interjects when other members are asking questions. I ask him to just ask his question.
So what's your first thought when someone says "Tinkerbell"? Here's what comes up when you type in Tinkerbell on Google. It's obviously OK for Mr Mallard to make comments like that to an openly gay National MP in the bearpit that is Parliament, but when someone makes comments against one of his gay colleagues, that's homophobia. We're guessing that Trevor Mallard's decision to censor a factual and carefully-worded comment might suggest that he's not happy that his words have come back to bite him. That's his problem.
For what it's worth, we don't want to go down the homophobia road either, and we'll keep a close eye on any comments to this thread. We have a close family member of whom we are enormously proud, who happens to be gay. Their sexuality is not an issue to us; nor is Chris Carter's. The only issue we have with Chris Carter is his attitude to OPM - Other People's Money. Maybe Trevor Mallard should focus on the REAL reason why Mr Carter is currently on leave.