Compare and Contrast: Dick Hubbard then and now

Back in 2004, Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard outraged the LGBT community:

The gay community has won a historic victory in achieving legal recognition for same-sex partnerships, but has been stung by a last-minute push against civil unions by Auckland City’s mayor.

The same day that Parliament voted 65-55 to pass the legislation, Mayor Dick Hubbard sparked outrage as details were revealed of a letter he had signed urging MPs to oppose the bill on the basis that the children of gay couples were more likely to be victims of abuse and murder.

Auckland gay community representatives say they feel betrayed after Mr Hubbard campaigned in front of the Gay Auckland Business Association, saying he stood for diversity and tolerance.

While campaigning, he quoted American Professor Richard Florida’s creativity index that gay and immigrant populations boosted a city’s prosperity.  

The bill, which polarised public opinion and split political parties, has dominated Parliament for three days, as MPs opposed to it fought to change the bill or force a referendum.

On Monday, Mr Hubbard and his wife, Diana, with Air New Zealand chief executive Ralph Norris, signed a letter to MPs asking them to “do the right thing for our children” on civil unions.

The letter quoted “international research” that children from unions other than marriage were more likely to be abused, murdered, suffer depression, lower educational standards and poverty “than those raised in a traditional heterosexual marriage”.

The letter was signed by Mr Norris and his wife, Pam, in a private capacity; John and Alma Sax, of Southpark Corporation Ltd; Ian and Mary Grant, of Parenting with Confidence; Alan Duff, of Books in Homes; and Michael Brown, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Maori at Auckland University.

That wasn’t all:

Mr Hubbard said yesterday that he was a moral conservative who, like MPs, was entitled to express an opinion on the conscience issue.

He denied flip-flopping on his earlier comments.

“I made it very plain that my position was one of tolerance but not of endorsement and I believe this stand is compatible with that.

“I am very keen on the sanctity of marriage and I’m very concerned that the Civil Union Bill as it is now is very close to the concept of marriage.

“I certainly don’t regard myself as homophobic in any shape or form,” Mr Hubbard said.

After the bill was passed, he said: “I don’t walk away with a sense of disappointment, I just feel it was appropriate to express my views.”

That was quite a stance, and also from Ralph Norris (but that is for another story), and somewhat sad and ironic given news yesterday that a man is now a member of the women’s weightlifting team for NZ:

New Zealand weightlifting has selected a transgender athlete for this month’s Australian International, believed to be a first in New Zealand sport.

Weightlifting officials told the Herald that Laurel Hubbard will be competing in the 90kg+ female category at the event. The tournament goes some way to determining Commonwealth Games selection so Hubbard is in prime position to compete for New Zealand at next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

The selection of Hubbard, the daughter of cereal magnate and former Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard, is a pioneering moment in sport for the LBGT community.

Hubbard, 39, declined to be interviewed, saying through Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand general manager Emma Pilkington that she just wanted to “concentrate on preparing for her first international competition”.

If his son wanted to marry his partner now I wonder whether Dick Hubbard would express the same views he did back in 2004. His son is 39 now, back in 2004 he would have been 26 and would have clearly shown his preferences for sexuality. Dick Hubbard would have known that too…or perhaps not given his self-proclaimed moral conservatism.

I find this just so tragic…but once again it reveals the subtle hypocrisy of politicians and influencers when they put their names to things of a moral nature.

 

-NZ Herald

 


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