NZ government looks into ignored same-sex ball query

The New Zealand government is investigating why schools turned down questions about same-sex couples in balls

NZ government looks into ignored same-sex ball query
04 March 2012

The New Zealand Ombudsman is looking into schools that have refused to answer questions about same-sex couples attending balls.

Matthew Taylor, a 17-year-old student, lodged requests for related policy information to 431 secondary schools with year 12 and 13 students, The New Zealand Herald reported today (4 March).

But out of those schools, 170 made no response, 30 replied with conditions, and some others sought to cover administrative costs.

Under the Official Information Act, such requests must be answered within 20 working days, according to Taylor.

Many refused to answer his enquiries, citing insufficient information on his identity, but just one school said flat-out same-sex dates would not be permitted.

A number of schools used ‘case by case basis’ as a response, which simply does not apply to opposite-sex dates or friends, Taylor said, adding many schools made unconvincing excuses such as ‘previous vandalism’.

Some schools were somewhat hostile. A representative from Waitara High School asked Taylor not to contact her again on such matters as ‘schools are extremely busy and… [her] time is better spent ensuring the highest quality learning is taking place.’

Rob Sturch from Hastings Boys’ High School went so far as to say, ‘Good morning Mr Taylor, please feel free to complain. Yours sincerely R G Sturch.’

A story broke in June about how Malcolm Pimentel, a gay student, was not allowed to bring his male partner, an ex-student, to his school ball.

An appalled Taylor contacted the school, but was told that it did not have a policy on same-sex dates. He then set out to send a request to hundreds of schools, asking for policies.



No thumbnail available

Director Adam Shankman tells Gay Star News he wants to start a family

Director of Hairspray is engaged to man he met on date with someone else
No thumbnail available

Prayer vigils and parties around the world for IDAHO

From United States to the Fiji Islands and Italy, LGBT associations unite against gay hate and discrimination
No thumbnail available

Rock Hudson play to raise money to fight HIV

'Rock and Doris and Elizabeth' will raise money for Terrence Higgins Trust
No thumbnail available

Yachts and Things, an unpublished work by author Truman Capote, surfaces

Thought to be part of Capote's final unfinished novel
No thumbnail available

Obama pushes equal benefits for LGBTI Americans

President Barack Obama has expanded social security, veterans and sick leave benefits to ensure they include gay people, even in states where gay marriage has not been legalized
Tune into Tokyo: 10 of the city's most dazzling hotels

Tune into Tokyo: 10 of the city's most dazzling hotels

Calling all fashionistas, foodies, film buffs and lovers of luxury: you'll sleep soundly in the Eastern capital with this handy guide
No thumbnail available

Will the Queen say the G-word this Christmas?

As people around the world prepare to watch the Queen’s annual Christmas Message on TV, veteran activist Peter Tatchell asks if she will utter the word ‘gay’ this year
No thumbnail available

Gays more likely to abuse drugs, study finds

Researcher discovers isolation and depression makes lesbians, gays and bisexuals an easy target for drugs and alcohol consumption
No thumbnail available

First Gujarati film on gay issues released in India

Meghadhanushya - The Colour of Life, narrated by gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, is the first film in the language of west Indian state of Gujarat with a gay main character
No thumbnail available

Marcus Collins goes from gay to girl magnet in new video

Out and proud X Factor star Marcus Collins unveils video for debut single Seven Nation Army