NZ MP comes out


Paul Foster-Bell | Victoria Crafar/Fairfax | 16499ga

New Zealand MP Paul Foster-Bell, a member of the National Party, has announced he is gay, saying preacher Brian Tamaki’s claims about homosexuals causing earthquakes meant he had to speak up.

Foster-Bell, who has never previously spoken publicly about his sexuality, said he wanted to stand up for young, gay New Zealanders who could be questioning their self-worth as a result of Tamaki’s remarks.

Tamaki’s assertion that “gays, sinners, and murderers” cause earthquakes, repeated after last month’s magnitude-7.8 earthquake, has prompted protests.

Foster-Bell said the comments, and other world events, had inspired him to talk about his own experiences.