MP stuns Parliament with revelation about homophobic killing

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An MP stunned the New Zealand Parliament by revealing that a member of her family once killed a gay person.

Marama Davidson sits in the New Zealand Parliament as a Green Party MP.

The politician, who is a descendent of indigenous Māori communities, was speaking as a formal apology was issued for the country’s historical anti-LGBT laws.

Ms Davidson explained that in the 1980s, her uncle was jailed on a manslaughter charge after killing a gay man.

MP stuns Parliament with revelation about homophobic killing

At the time, her uncle argued that the attack was provoked because the victim propositioned him. A violent fight broke out, and her uncle knocked the man into the harbour, where he drowned.

Ms Davidson said: “I want to acknowledge in particular a young man who was murdered for being gay when I was a young girl.

“Homophobia has killed too many people, and even less than killing people it has harmed people in a way that has been traumatic, for generations actually.

“I cannot stand today without thinking about a particular man who was killed for being gay.

“I think about what he lost in his life. Maybe he might have chosen to be a father with a lover, with a husband.

“Maybe he might have been an amazing uncle. Maybe he might have been a grandfather.

“Who knows, because he lost his life. I send my love to his family because the person who stole his life was my family.

“Homophobia has taken too many lives, and today it is an honour to put some mana back into the lives that we have taken.”

Her uncle was later killed in prison.

She added: “I want to finish off by again sending my love to the family of the young man whose life was taken by my uncle. We lost two men to homophobia. Thank you.”

Ms Davidson told the New Zealand Herald: “I was just remembering the guy whose life was taken because my uncle didn’t want to be seen as gay, so he acted violently to a guy who was gay.

“It was about remembering the life that young man missed out on.

“That was top of my stomach when I stood to speak, what the trauma and homophobia had done to our family and the young man, and what he missed out on and what his family missed out on.

“It is one story of thousands that today is starting to try to address, that homophobia was upheld by law.”