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Gay Canadian no longer in charge of New Zealand’s censorship

First off: “Chief Censor” is quite the Orwellian job title. Yikes!

While Canadian queers renew their fight for freedom of expression, one gay Canadian expat is leaving his job as New Zealand’s top censor. 

For more than 10 years as “Chief Censor,” Bill Hastings was responsible for reviewing a wide range of items including films, videos, books, magazine, T-shirts, and even jigsaw puzzles and playing cards.

During his career, Hastings made some controversial decisions. In 2007, he banned a T-shirt that depicted a nun masturbating and the words “Jesus is a cunt.” (click here to see the “blasphemous” T-shirt). In 2002, Hastings banned the violent video game Manhunt

Some others accused him of not going far enough, GayNZ.com reports:

"Over his career as Chief Censor, the
openly-gay Wellingtonian has been attacked by groups such as the
Society for the Promotion of Community Standards, Destiny Church,
Michael Laws and Deputy New Zealand First leader Peter Brown, who have
accused him of having a gay agenda."

Hastings is moving on to a new career as a judge. Read his exit interview with TVNZ here. Who’s replacing him in the interim? Deputy Chief Censor Nicola McCully, who is also gay.

(In other censorship news: New Zealand has moved ahead with its Internet filter, and civil liberties groups are raising red flags.)  

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