New Zealand: ‘Gay times are over’ billboard provokes anger
A billboard apparently directed at the first openly lesbian mayor in New Zealand with the slogan ‘The gay times are over’ has provoked anger from councillors.
Officials in Kapiti District, which has a population of about 50,000, have written an open letter criticising the local man whose billboard contained the slogan and a condemnation of the council’s debt levels.
Dale Evans daubed the message on a community noticeboard in Paraparaumu. He is a community board member for a Paraparaumu-Raumati.
Mr Evans has reportedly attended council meetings dressed as woman and in a Ku Klux Klan costume.
Councillors wrote: “This type of attack on the gay community does not only prejudice people within Kapiti but is an attack on the civil liberties of all New Zealanders.”
It continues: “This incident, coupled with Mr Evans’ previous KKK episode beggars belief … this type of gutter politics is not wanted on the Kapiti Coast.”
Mr Evans told the Dominion Post: “The dictionary says gay means good times, there was even a Johnny Gay ice-cream in the 50s. I have a few gay friends. If I was anti-gay, why would I get dressed up as a woman and go to council?
“This is PC gone wrong. Who gives the right for a certain section of society to block you out, stop someone saying what you want to say?
“There has always been a reason I have done things, maybe a bit different to the way other people do things, but always to get a message out there. Council [debt] is out of control.”
Mr Evans’ billboard read: “Dale Evans’s Community Notice Board – No Supprises [sic] – The gay times are over – Enough is enough – Council Debt $74 million.”
TVNZ now reports that the sign has been painted over.