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Wednesday 10 November 2010

Hide bemused by Peters' 'closet gay' slur

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 1st August 2008

NZ First leader and Foreign Affairs minister Winston Peters has played the gay slur card against Act leader Rodney Hide, suggesting that Hide is a closeted gay who uses the public company of women friends to disguise the fact.

Rodney Hide
Speaking under parliamentary privilege, Peters has harked back to a 2003 incident when Hide was accused of making a gay advance to a man who followed him into the toilets of a Waiheke Island conference venue. At the time Hide explained that the allegation was based on his flippant response to the man asking "Do you mind if I follow you into the toilets?" Hide says he regretted his riposte, along the lines of: "No, you're not gay are you?"

After that incident was reported in the NZ Herald as Hide having made an advance to the man, Hide denied he was gay and expressed his sympathy for gay people who could be very easily accused of such behaviour, even when it had not actually happened.

Winston Peters has also claimed in Parliament that Hide had falsely introduced a woman to the press gallery as his partner, implying that the woman was used by Hide to inaccurately present himself as heterosexual.

Hide, who voted in favour of the Civil Unions legislation, this afternoon told that he is bemused that Peters would in this day and age believe that an allegation of homosexuality could discredit a politician. "The only people who think this is important are Winston Peters and his fellow NZ First MP Ron Mark," he says.

Hide says he is irked by "the idea that I'd be embarrassed or not telling people if I was gay... there's nothing wrong with being gay or saying you are gay, or that you are not gay."

Asked if he is in fact gay, Hide replied "not yet," a reference to his belief that "sexuality is sometimes a fluid matter" and that "some people become aware of their homosexuality only late in life, to their great surprise."

Peters' insinuations come just days after Hide lodged a formal complaint with the Serious Fraud Office regarding the financial affairs of Peters and his New Zealand First party.

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