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Celia Wade-Brown, Grant Robertson and Jan Logie at the opening of Out in the Square
"Look after each other" Robertson urges

in NEW ZEALAND, 24/01/2012

Labour Deputy Leader and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson has reflected on the killing of gay journalist Phil Cottrell and urged community members to look out for each other, in opening Wellington’s largest glbt event.



The gay MP said while Out in the Square is a day to celebrate, it’s also a day to remember, pointing to the killing of Cottrell as he walked home from work in the early hours of the morning on 10 December.

“I just want to make out of today one of the things we say is that we all look after each other, within the rainbow communities. We have a lot of different groups represented here today … we really do need as a rainbow community to look out for each other and make sure that as a community we prosper together in this fantastic city of Wellington.”

Robertson also paid tribute to a lost legend, saying “I think Carmen could well be looking down on us today checking out the outfits, seeing who’s looking fabulous … I think if she were around today she would say this was what she wanted when she ran for Mayor of Wellington. She wanted a city that was completely inclusive, which said to people ‘we celebrate you for who you are and for what you bring to the city’.”

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown also paid tribute to Carmen and agreed Cottrell’s killing was sad and apparently unprovoked.

“I very much hope it was not a signal in any way against the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in Wellington.”

Georgina Beyer was at the opening of Out in the Square, as were a number of sitting Labour MPs and new Green MP Jan Logie, who also addressed the crowd and was wildly applauded when she said she was the newest queer representative in Parliament. No National MPs were sighted at the event.

Wellington’s big gay weekend continues tomorrow with a memorial for Carmen at S&M’s on Cuba St from 7PM, followed by Glitter, a gay dance party, at the Opera House from 9PM.

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