New Zealand military to march in uniform for first time at Auckland Pride

LGBT members of New Zealand’s Defense Force will march in uniform in the Auckland Pride Parade this year in a historic first for the South Pacific nation

New Zealand military to march in uniform for first time at Auckland Pride
13 January 2013

LGBT members of New Zealand’s armed forces will march in uniform for the first time in this year’s Auckland Pride Parade.

This week New Zealand Defense Force’s OverWatch LGBT support network announced that it had signed up for an official entry in the parade and that members would be marching in uniform – something that Auckland Pride organizer Jonathan Smith told the New Zealand Herald he welcomed.

‘I’m sure they’re going to be the crowd favorite,’ Smith said.

‘I can’t say we’re the first pride parade in the world to have a defense force marching, but we’re definitely one of the very few where they’re actually permitted to march in uniform.’

In comparison LGBT liaison officers from the New Zealand Police can participate but not in uniform.

This year’s Auckland Pride is the first to be held in 12 years after the event got into financial trouble in 2001.

The event has now returned with support from the New Zealand Government and Auckland Council and will run from Friday, February 8 to Sunday, February 24 with the parade on Saturday, Friday 16.

Openly LGBT personnel have been able to serve in New Zealand’s military since 1993 when the country’s Human Rights Act was passed, banning discrimination against LGBT people.

The New Zealand Defense Force launched OverWatch in January of last year to provide peer support for LGBT personnel and to provide guidance and information to colleagues and superiors of LGBT personnel and to Defense Force leadership.

The decision to allow New Zealand military personnel to march in uniform in the Auckland Pride Parade comes just weeks after it was announced that Australian military personnel would be allowed to march in uniform in the Sydney Mardi Gras parade for the first time.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Nick Griffin: gay civil partnerships kills children

British National Party leader said he is against same-sex civil partnerships but denied being anti-gay
No thumbnail available

After being panned, Jeb Bush takes another try at expressing gay marriage views

'I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue'
No thumbnail available

Whitney Houston funeral

Whitney Houston's funeral held today
No thumbnail available

Lesbian penguins on display at Ireland’s Oceanworld

Two female penguins have paired up for the mating season in a South Pole exhibition at Dingle Oceanworld in County Kerry, Ireland
Gender-neutral title Mx added to Oxford Dictionary

Gender-neutral title Mx added to Oxford Dictionary

Other words added include brain fart, fat-shame and wine o'clock
No thumbnail available

‘Grease’ star under fire for tasteless gay sex Instagram photo

Australian singer Rob Mills posted an image of two toys engaged in a sex act to depict a losing football team
No thumbnail available

Using youth power to change the world for gays

Simon Rodgers got the chance to change the next generation’s hearts and minds on LGBT issues when he spoke at the One Young World Summit in Pittsburgh
Give your favorite summer food a zingy apple twist with these three recipes

Give your favorite summer food a zingy apple twist with these three recipes

SPONSORED: Some Pink Lady® apples, some spice and everything nice make these three recipes our summer favorites
No thumbnail available

Same-sex couples using Thai surrogates wait anxiously to bring children home

A crackdown on commercial surrogacy in Thailand has left some intended parents unsure of their legal rights
No thumbnail available

Lesbian cop killer Dale Cregan jailed for life

A man who murdered two police officers and a father and son in Manchester is facing life behind bars