A local councillor in Hamilton City, New Zealand has said that he cannot remember using anti-gay slurs at a council meeting last week.
Garry Mallett reportedly used the slurs ”homo” and ”fags” during a council meeting. A formal complaint has now been taken out against the former president of ACT New Zealand, The Spinoff
Mallett reportedly said ”What’s with the homo colour in our agenda?” after being handed a pink piece of paper. When his use of the word was challenged, he reportedly asked other councillors if they were looking out for "the gays and fags now".
In response to the complaint, Mallett said that while he does not remember making the comments, he doesn't think there's anything wrong with that kind of language. "I don't recall making them but there's no reason I wouldn't have said them," he said.
He continued by saying that he "couldn't give a rat's arse" if anyone was offended by the remarks. "Because they call themselves homos, they call themselves gays, they call themselves fags, they call themselves queer. They are proud of being pink.
"You know that for a fact unless you haven't got any homosexual friends. And if you haven't got any homosexual friends, you need to get out a bit more."
"Do you think I would have said it with malice, anyway?"
He also told a journalist that they should be more concerned with the treatment of LGBT+ people elsewhere in the world, and should therefore leave Mallett alone to say whatever he wants. "I guess you’ll be well aware that in Iran they murder homosexuals by shoving from high rise buildings," he said. "If you (or anyone) is truly offended by the treatment of homosexuals I suggest you/they hop on a plane to Teheran and sort them out."
Richard Briggs, chief executive of the council, has confirmed that he has received a complaint about Mallett's language. but declined to comment further.
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