Couple Closes Bakery After Home, Car, Store Attacked By Anti-Gay Vandals

While Indianapolis bakery Just Cookies faced taunts for refusing to serve a gay-themed product to gay customers, Dave Zelton and his partner Kym say they were forced to close their bakery in Christchurch, New Zealand, because of something else: anti-gay torment. The couple says they saw their shop, home, and car vandalized and were subject to taunts like “all faggots need to be burnt and destroyed” shouted at them in their store. (The couple say police have told them nothing can be done unless someone gets hurt.) The stress, which has Kym on the verge of a breakdown, comes after they relocated their store after September’s earthquake. Says Zelton: “We’ve had too many broken windows, and it’s costing us money. We just have to let it go. We’ve got no choice.”

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  • Jonathan

    I believed that NZ was enlightened and gay friendly. I’m sorry these two had such a bad experience. Rotten homophobic assholes are everywhere.

  • scott ny'er

    @Jonathan: Yeah, i thought NZ was a nice place. Apparently, it’s very religious or at least that part is.

  • ForeverGay

    Wherever heterosexuals are anti-gay bigotry exists. Heterosexuals are the creators and perpetuators of anti-gay bigotry.

  • Blackmattachine

    Let’s not confuse heterosexuals (which my wife is) with heterosexists. It seems there is more to this story than meets the eye: Christchurch is only a third the size of my community, Tucson, yet they have a couple of gay venues we haven’t had in 20 years [see:

  • hmmm

    …all in a place called Christchurch. #irony

  • Blake J

    New Zealand as a whole may better than the USA in terms of “gay peace”, but it does not mean there are some bad people in certain areas.

  • Blake J

    @Blake J: Insert “not” in between “are” and “some”.

  • Lee

    Just sickening and sad.

  • Dallas David

    The Salvation Army has a history of homophobia, even in New Zealand:

    They are first and foremost, fundamentalist Christians.

    Yep, they kicked me out for being gay back in the 1970’s, haven’t improved since then.

  • Morgan Terrill

    Christchurch is known in New Zealand as one of the most backward towns.

    New Zealand has had legalized Civil Unions since 2004, which extend all rights except adoption for same-sex couples.

    Homosexuality was decriminalized in 1986 and the age of consent set at sixteen which is the national standard.

    We have always allowed LGBT into our armed forces, and our police website even states sexuality as one of the unique minority groups they are looking at in recruiting for a more broad community moving forward.

    Our Bill Of Rights and Human Rights Acts make sexual orientation discrimination unlawful and have been in effect since 1993. Catholic schools for example cannot fire a Gay or Lesbian teacher, the only reprieve the church gets is inside their own walls (i.e. parishioners are exempt).

    Our former (liberal) prime minister is on record as saying she thinks it is unfair that same-sex couples in our country can’t have marriage proper. Our current (conservative) prime minister hasn’t mentioned marriage but is on the record as saying he doesn’t see a problem with Gay people being allowed to adopt.

    While New Zealand could do better, it was definitely ahead of its time six years ago and in my opinion is further ahead of our neighbor Australia, no question lightyears ahead of the United States.

    As an observer who has lived in NZ and Aussie, I look at the U.S. as fundamentally not about equality, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. From here it looks to me like minority groups are treated the worst out of most developed countries in the world. The fact it was so hard and took so long just to repeal DADT implies that allowing Gays to exist as people is something america’s political system finds painful to accept, even in 2011.

  • Kev C

    They have two options. Set up business in a more tolerant community like Wellington. Or if they want to stay in Christchurch, hire some protection. Security cams, a guard, friends … or bribe the cops with free donuts. No one messes with a donut maker with cops are around.

  • Cam

    @Morgan Terrill: said…

    While New Zealand could do better, it was definitely ahead of its time six years ago and in my opinion is further ahead of our neighbor Australia, no question lightyears ahead of the United States.”

    Actually several states here have full marriage, and gays are allowed to adopt in most states putting the U.S. ahead of NZ in those areas.

  • declanto

    @Cam: Please name the states who allow gays to adopt children. four states out of fifty allow marriage. This in no way puts the U.S. ahead of NZ.

  • GetBalance

    @Morgan Terrill

    Thanks for that historical accounting of NZs coming of age in it’s sexuality. I’ve always felt the U.S. would have done better w complete DPs first, then relax for several years then go for marriage. Seems it would have been less bloody. But then paternalistic America needs to flex it’s penis here there and everywhere. Straight men can be total drama queens. They just hold back on the limp wrists.

    After living in Canada for a few years, I totally get the hooligan perspective many foriegners have for this country. It’s very reactive adolescent in it’s spirit. But we take it day by day and hope our gay youth survive w/o too much of a scathing. They are after all our countries saviors on this issue.

    Good luck on your next legal gay steps in your country.

  • David

    I’m horrified for them in this experience at this day and age….but this is really how you leave the story hanging??? Who wrote this?

  • Sam LaM

    Once again, inept ‘journalism’ from Queerty!
    The full story (which is available on a plethora of reputable media outlets) is that the couple were repeatedly attacked by *one specific family* who caused all the damage to their car, bakery etc. and were the ones spouting the verbal taunts at them. This is not about there being widespread homophobia in NZ or Christchurch as a city – however that doesn’t make for a good story, so Queerty skew it to make it look more sensationalist.

  • Morgan Terrill


    I’m talking about the United States as a whole.

    But state wide, it is true that some states allow same sex adoption. It is true that some states allow same sex marriage. But the amount of states that offer these benefits are far and few between.

    Also the Defense of Marriage Act removes all federal protections and obligations for marriages performed in the states which offer them. Locally speaking they are useful to some extent but federally they are useless. Your government pretends they don’t exist. Whereas civil unions in New Zealand are country wide and don’t have clawbacks therefore in effect being more powerful (in practical terms) than gay marriage as performed in some states in the US.

    The fact that some U.S. states have opened up Gay adoption is the only strength that country has over New Zealand. The only one. In every other way we are more advanced. It’s time people really start to get in-your-face in demanding their rights over there. What’s wrong with a bit of civil disobedience?

  • Mark David

    My friend ask me about this few days ago. Lucky to dropped by on your blog and found you this. I will forward this to my friend. He will get interested with it. Thanks for the info.

  • portmanteau

    There is rather more to this story than meets the eye, and based on the way in which the “victim” Kym Zelton conducts himself in the world, my bets are on him being largely responsible himself for the antagonism that surrounds him.

    Here, for instance, is the way that Mr Zelton attacks his own gay community publicly on Facebook. This is a post that he made in connection with the fact that the long-running and only gay bar in Christchurch was relocating and reopening after the disastrous earthquake that hit the city in February.

    Quote: “Kym Zelton Glad to hear about sophies,Absolutely appalled to hear Cruz has a new venue,But then the little gay click to have its katty pathetic meetings at(wankers)” (sic.)

    Clearly Mr Zelton is as full of self-loathing and distaste for other gay people as he is for his alleged straight harrassers.

    Could be very much a case of hoisted by his own petard?

    Mr Zelton should not be surprised that his own bitterness towards the world in general reflects back on him. Perhaps no surprise that his business failed all on its own – looking for a “gay hate” story to disguise the root cause of his own downfall is sadly a regular trait of those with victim mentalities.

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