New Zealand: Legal threat does not faze politician who claimed rival thinks ‘gays belong in the closet’

Joseph McCormick February 17, 2014
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The threat of a defamation lawsuit has not put-off a NZ Green Party politician who claimed the leader of the Conservative Party thinks “a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet.”

Russel Norman, the co-leader of the Green Party made the comments about Conservative Party leader Colin Craig earlier this month at Big Gay Out.

Mr Norman said at the Auckland event: “Now the thing about Colin Craig is he thinks that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet.”

Despite being contacted by Mr Craig’s lawyers who asserted that Mr Norman would be sued for defamation should he not apologise by Friday, he suggested he would not.

In a letter to Mr Norman, lawyer John McKay, a lawyer for Mr Craig said the statement “harms his reputation to say that he holds such sexist, derogatory and offensive views about woman

Mr Norman said said: “In a democracy, in an open society we have a free and frank exchange of views. It can be robust but that’s what we expect from our politicians. I don’t want robust political debate to be chilled by the potential actions of defamation lawyers.”

“I don’t plan to back down from my statements because of a lawyer’s letter,” he continued.

More: colin craig, Homophobia, misogyny, New Zealand, New Zealand

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