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Election: Charles Chauvel

We asked a bunch of MPs and candidates the same five questions to help you decide where to cast your vote at the end of this month. Today we quizzed Labour MP Charles Chauvel.

Just briefly, what are the five biggest issues this election?
-Do you want a plan to own our own future under Labour? Or a non-plan for prosperity and fairness under National that sees us all gradually become tenants in our own country?
-Do you want to see our environment valued and enhanced under Labour? Or do you want to see more subsidies for polluters under National?
-Do you want to see Labour re-fashion the justice system so it truly emphasises community safety and takes the tough long-term decisions needed to reduce offending? Or are you more comfortable with sound-bites, window-dressing law and order initiatives and Judith Collins as Justice Minister?
-Are you prepared to reward National’s side-deals with politicians with anti-gay voting records and little popular support, like Peter Dunne and John Banks, or do you want to see a Labour-led government that waits for the people to decide on the composition of Parliament before seeking to assemble a majority;
-Do you want a government led by Labour – a party with a track record of protecting and enhancing GLBT rights, and committed to continuing to do so? Or a National one that can promise only “not to roll back our rights” – the pledge John Key made at the Big Gay Out a couple of years ago?

What is your stance on gay marriage?
We support equality before the law. Inequalities between civil unions and marriage should be eliminated. The legal status of marriage should be open to everyone in a lawfully recognised relationship.

What is your stance on gay couples being able to adopt?
We support equality before the law. We also support making available the widest pool possible of suitably qualified carers to children who need care. The prohibition on adoption by same-sex couples will go under Labour as part of a modernisation of NZ’s 60-year-old adoption laws that National says are ‘not a priority’ for reform.

How can we lower the suicide and attempted suicide rate of GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) and questioning youth in New Zealand?
-Continue to eliminate legal barriers to equality for GLBT people
-Insist on the right of GLBT people to participate in society with dignity
-Deal to bullying in schools by requiring them to operate policies that show how they will do this, and then report publicly on how well they are managing this so GLBT kids and their parents can choose schools that do best at ensuring safety for their students
-Continuing to support GLBT youth groups and others working to promote the safety and well-being of GLBT New Zealanders so the experience of growing up as a GLBT person is not one of constant put-downs and negative stereotypes.
Labour policy provides for all of these things.

What is your view on the To Be Who I Am report?
It must be implemented in full. Trans people continue to suffer from discrimination, especially in health service delivery and over documentation issues. The state needs to do its bit to end this discrimination. All this too is Labour policy.

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