Friday dubbed 'Gay Red Shirt Day'
Prime Minister John Key wore red at a charity cricket match last year (Photosport)
By 3 News online staff
A Gay Red Shirt Day has been organised for Friday after the Prime Minister dubbed a radio host’s shirt a “gay red top”.
John Key made the on-air gaffe last week, when talking to Jamie Mackay of The Farming Show.
The Gay Red Shirt Day Facebook page was started yesterday with the slogan “Because, John, gay doesn’t mean stupid” and encourages supporters to wear a red shirt this Friday.
“Remind everyone, including the Prime Minister of New Zealand to watch their language,” it says. “If you mean ‘stupid’, say ‘stupid’. If you mean ‘weird’, say ‘weird’.”
A spokesperson for the page told GayNZ.com the group behind it are “critical-thinking parents”.
The page already has more than 1400 likes and lots of people posting messages of support on the wall.
“It was a stupid thing for John to say really,” Bill Gray posted. “He’s the PM of a nation, not some obnoxious teenager.”
“I got a new shirt last night at The Warehouse especially for Friday,” Moata Tamaira posted.
The page is the latest show of widespread concern over Mr Key’s comments, with British actor Sir Ian McKellen and high profile New Zealanders voicing their concern.
“I do hope John Key listens to his critics and appreciates their concern,” McKellen wrote on his website. “Careless talk damages lives.”
Green Party MP Kevin Hague called the statement a “homophobic playground slur” and a number of Green Party MPs wore red shirts to Parliament yesterday.
“I think there’s a real problem with the Prime Minister making that sort of remark,” Mr Hague told NZ Newswire.
US parenting blogger Julie Savage has also picked up on the gaffe and is promoting Gay Red Shirt Day as an international event.
“Parents have a responsibility to pay attention to the words and world around our kids,” she wrote. “Let’s watch our language at home and come up with more creative specific alternatives.”
Mr Key’s remark is also being reported on the E!Online website.
Organisers of the Gay Red Shirt Day event were unavailable for comment.