New Zealand mayor calls out groomer sign at Pride event as ‘bigotry masquerading as concern’

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09/02/2023

The mayor of a town in New Zealand has slammed “groomer” graffiti outside a Pride event, claiming the slur represents “bullying” and “bigotry”. It was reported that Queenstown Lakes District Library, which was hosting a reading session as part of the town’s Winter Pride celebrations, was vandalised with spray paint reading “child grooming”. The incident follows several right-wing attacks on Drag Queen Story Hour events in the United States and the UK. Queenstown Lakes mayor Glyn Lewers explained that the “groomer” rhetoric spreading about the LGBTQ+ community represents “bigotry masquerading as concern” for children. “Vandalism – particularly that which is organised, premeditated and carrying divisive sentiment – will not and cannot be tolerated. Neither will direct threats to our staff or the people freely giving of their time to enable these events,” Lewers said in a statement.

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