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Queer History New Zealand
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
New Zealand History


A Chronology of Homosexuality in New Zealand

PART 5 - From Law Reform to the present

 Go back to the end of Part 4.

1986

July

11

Governor General signs Homosexual Law Reform Act into law.

1986

August

8

The Homosexual Law Reform Act comes into effect. The sky does not fall.

1986

September

11

The Gay and Lesbian Archive (later LAGANZ) is damaged by arson.

1987

April

11

The Governor General, Sir Paul Reeves, opens the Äwhina [HIV/AIDS] Clinic (later Centre), Wellington, in a dawn ceremony.

1987

August

 

Wellington City Council grants same-sex partners of bus-drivers the same free-passes as opposite-sex partners.

1987

October

6

NZ Gay Task Force rejects an invitation to host the 1998 International Lesbian and Gay Association conference because the whites-only Gay Association of South Africa is invited.

1987

November

19

"Normal" Norman Jones MP (National, Awarua)most vehement opponent of law reform ("I have tunnel vision about sodomy.") dies of a brain tumour.

1987

May

 

Wellington lesbian newsletter, "Glad Rag" begins

1987

 

 

Homosexual Law Reform Society dissolves, donates its files to LAGANZ

1987

 

 

Trevor Barnard stands as an openly gay candidate for the NZ Democratic party in Eastern Hutt.

1988

Late

 

Gay Community Centre opens at Evergreen coffee lounge, Wellington (closes June 22, 1990)

1989

 

 

Crimes Act incorporates HLR Act amendments.

1989

Good Friday

 

Tom McLean, author of "If I Should Die" dies of AIDS complications in Wellington.

1989

Easter

 

Last (to date) National Gay and Lesbian Conference held in Auckland

1989

September

 

Gay motorbike club formed. Became Mercury Motorbike Club in October.

1990

July

 

Last issue of Pink Triangle published.

1991

May

1

Man to Man (later express), first national gay newspaper, begins publication. (Tabloid format from June 26, 1992)

1991

July

15

Auckland Star attacks Auckland Gay and Lesbian Youth receiving lottery grant to visit schools. Auckland Star folds soon after.

1991

November

 

Rev. David Bromell (ordained as a Baptist minister) now openly gay, seeks recognition by ("full connexion with") the Methodist Church.

1991

December

7

First Devotion party (Wellington)

1991

 

 

First Hero party (Auckland)

1992

April

24

Four-weekly women-only "Sheilas Arms" nights begin in New Plymouth

1993

July

29

The Human Rights Commission Amendment Act, outlawing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation ("heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or lesbian") or HIV, is passed by Parliament after only 1 1/2 days of debate but intensive lobbying. It exempts the Government until December 31, 1999

1993

April

 

Taranaki Lesbian Newsletter published (first since 1982), funded by the Lavender Ladies social group and the Suffrage Centennial Trust

1993

December

23

Chris Carter (Labour, Te Atatu) comes out soon after his election, the first openly gay MP

1994

January

 

First gay massage parlour, Buddies, opens in Wellington.

1994

February

 

Witi Ihimaera launches first gay novel by an established author, "Nights in the Gardens of Spain"

1994

September

28

Tom O'Donoghue, long-term AIDS activist, dies of AIDS complications.

1994

November

27

Arthur Tauhore, artiste extraordinaire, dies of AIDS complications during the third Devotion party.

1994

December

 

High Court rules that post-operative transsexuals can marry in their adopted sex.

1994

May

 

First National Lesbian Studies conference

1994

July

 

First annual Stonewall Ball in Taranaki.

1995

April

22

Tai Tahi Marsters bashes Jim Curtis in Napier leaving him brain-damaged.

1995

October

21

Georgina Beyer, a transexual, is elected Mayor of Carterton

1995

November

5

Martin Dickson is the first openly gay man to be licenced as a Presbyterian minister.

1995

May

 

Lesbians On The Land set up at the second National Lesbian Studies Conference.

1996

January

 

Judith Tizard MP (Labour, Panmure) proposes legalising same-sex marriage.

1996

February

5

"express report" (later "Out There") a regular gay and lesbian TV news programme, first broadcast.

1996

February

22

Gay Association of Professionals (GAP) formed in Wellington

1996

March

5

Census. The forms are constructed to be able to count same-sex partners.

1996

March

 

Tai Tahi Marsters acquitted of attempted murder and causing Jim Curtis grievous bodily harm using "homosexual panic" (homophobic panic) defence.

1996

April

24-6

High Court hearing of application by three lesbian couples for a ruling on legality of their applications to marry.

1996

May

30

High Court rules in common law "marriage" means mixed couples, any change is for Parliament. Minister of Justice Doug Graham declines to make such a change.

1996

mid

 

The Topp Twins (as Camp Mother and Camp Leader) have their own TV series

1996

July

5

Presbyterian Church rules that lesbian and gay people may not be licenced or ordained as elders or ministers or put in positions of leadership. The decision is also referred back to churches for a decision in two years.

1996

July

18

Singer Shona Laing comes out in express newspaper as "bisexual" but in a relationship with a woman and "didn't ever want to be with a man again".

1996

August

 

Gays and Lesbians in Business (GLIB) formed in Christchurch

1996

October

12

First MMP General Election. Openly gay MP Chris Carter (Labour, Te Atatu) defeated, but Tim Barnett (Labour, Christchurch Central), first to campaign as openly gay, elected. The Christian Coalition fails to pass the 5% threshold (gets 4.3%) and gains no seats in Parliament

1997

February

22

Hero Parade is broadcast by TV 3

1997

March

26

Äwhina Centre badly damaged by fire. Arson is suspected. The Mein St property is abandoned and the centre finds new premises in Tory St.

1997

March - April

 

Tim Barnett and Chris Carter form Gay & Lesbian Labour Party branches in Christchurch and Auckland

1997

April

13

Lesbian Alyson Murrie-West is licenced as a Presbyterian minister in St Andrews on the Terrace, Wellington.

1997

May

 

"Homosexual panic" defence fails when Bryan James Gardner is convicted of murdering David Shore after visiting two gay bars and going back to Shore's hotel room with him.

1997

May

7

World's first Intersex Centre opened in Wellington. The Intersex Society of NZ (Aotearoa) was founded by Mani Bruce Mitchell.

1997

mid

 

Government cuts off funding to Consistency 2000, the Human Rights Commissionís investigation into discriminatory legislation.

1997

September

 

Auckland City Council refuses to fund Hero parade. Organisers asked $32,000 to cover barriers and cleanup, promotions committee recommended half that.

1997

October

28

(Sydney: Richard Leonard is convicted of killing gay ex-Aucklander Stephen Dempsey with a crossbow. The jury takes five days to reject a "homosexual panic" defence.)

1997

November

12

(9.50pm) openly gay Rev. David Bromell is "received into full connexion" (ordained) with the Methodist Church

1997

December

17

Court of Appeal turns down three lesbian couples' appeal against High Court ruling against same-sex marriage

1998

January

1

Transsexual Jacqui Grant (the "Tranny Granny") of Moana, West Coast, made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit (MNZM) for her work with children.

1998

April

9

Paula Boock's novel of teenage lesbian awakening, Dare, Truth or Promise, wins NZ Post Children's Book Award. Fundies outraged.

1998

May

 

Government announces a Human Rights Amendment that will prolong the Governmentís exemption from the Human Rights Commission Act indefinitely.

1998

July

 

Camp Mother (Lynda Topp) announces her candidacy for Auckland mayoralty against anti-Hero Les Mills. (She withdraws two weeks before the election.)

1998

July

10

Presbyterian General Assembly bans ordination of "practising" gay men or lesbians for one year, forbids asking applicants their orientation, silences discussion of the topic.

1998

July

 

Labour Relations Bill introduced, granting same-sex partners leave for partners' sickness.

1998

July

 

Defacto Property Bill introduced, regularising disposal of property on death or separation of unmarried couples, but not same-sex ones. An amendment is moved to include them.

1998

August

5

Hamilton District Court rules a lesbian liable for maintenance of a child born to her ex-partner during their relationship. No corresponding custody rights.

1998

August

19

Government (a National minority as of the previous day) introduces Human Rights Amendment saying it will bring Government into line with HRC Act - with some exceptions.

1988

October

12

(Laramie, Wyoming, US. Death of Matthew Shepard from gaybashing, provoking international grief and outrage.)

1988

October

22

NZ Navy announces gay-friendly policy, including issue of pink triangle stickers to mark "safe places".

1998

November

26

Government Bill to amend Human Rights Commission Act officially abolishing Consistency 2000 defeated.

1998

November

27

Auckland City Council under new Mayor Christine Fletcher grants $15,000 for Hero Parade cleanup

1998

December

5

This Chronicle's most recent update.

Go back to the beginning of the Chronology

Go back to Chronology headings.

Compiled by Hugh Young.


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