Politician rants about ‘fags’ after getting upset about pink paper
A city councillor is under fire for a homophobic rant – after getting upset about a pink piece of paper during a meeting.
Garry Mallett, who sits on the city council in Hamilton, New Zealand, made the outburst in a meeting last week.
The local politician had apparently grown upset that one of the reports in the meeting was printed on a pink piece of paper.
In a shocking diatribe, Mallett complained that the paper was a “homo colour”, joking about whether “fags” were responsible.
According to Stuff.co.nz, his comments led to an official complaint from Councillor Angela O’Leary.
But in an extremely hostile statement, Mallett accused O’Leary of being part of an “I’m not important unless I’m offended mob”.
He insisted: “I don’t recall making the comments, but if I did, I’m comfortable about it. It will have been a light hearted jest about our meeting moving into the confidential portion (ie public excluded) in which the agenda papers are coloured pink.
“If you have any contact with the homosexual community in New Zealand you’ll, of course, know that many homosexuals happily refer to themselves and/or their organisations as ‘pink’, ‘gay’, ‘fags, ‘homos’, ‘rainbow’ etc. (Actually they seem to add new names and words every few months so it gets bloody hard to keep up with it all).”
He insisted the word fag was not offensive, saying: “Many homosexuals freely and willingly identify with these words. Indeed, to some extent, homosexuals have ‘commandeered’ these words such that many non-homosexuals feel uncomfortable using them.”
He added: “This seems to me to be a pathetic, pathetic, pathetic attempt to make something out of nothing. If you have evidence of me deliberately harming homosexuals let me know.
“I guess you’ll be well aware that in Iran they murder homosexuals by shoving from high rise buildings. If you (or anyone) is truly offended by the treatment of homosexuals I suggest you/they hop on a plane to Teheran and sort them out.”
Cllr O’Leary said: “I made the complaint because I felt I needed to stand up and speak and I did. I wanted it kept confidential because this is not about making a political point.
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“I was upset that the comments made were directed to two female staff members who are not empowered to say that that kind of language is simply not OK. I felt I had to speak up for my community and for the city I love.
“I am not the only one recently who has raised similar concerns with other inappropriate comments and I will not sit down and be quiet when it happens.
“I am sorry this has happened but I can not let this kind of behaviour stand in the shadows.”
According to Stuff, Mayor Andrew King issued a warning to Mallett for inappropriate behaviour.
Despite his combative public statement, the website reports that Mallett read a full apology “apologising to anyone who was offended by my comments”.