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A CONTROVERSIAL letter to the
editor written by North Canterbury
teenager Jasmin Harrison has gone
viral, popping up on homosexual
support blogs and even the hallowed
pages of the Huffington Post.
Jasmin Harrison, 14, wrote in to
the Northern Outlook (Oct 3) stating
her views on homosexuality and the
alleged damage it does to the
evolution of humans.
If you believe in evolution, you
can t be in favour of homosexuality,
It could threaten the human pos-
ition on the evolutionary ladder.
If humans allow same sex mar-
riage, species such as ducks could
surpass humans in evolution, she
Her comments have attracted the
interest of New Zealand blogger
Christopher Banks, who shared her
letter on his gay men s support blog,
Since the October 11 posting of
the letter, thousands of people have
viewed it, some questioning the
authenticity of the letter, wondering
if it was a hoax.
The sheer weight of the specu-
lation has pushed it onto the pages
of the Huffington Post, a left-wing
online news site based in the US.
The Huffington Post is known for
its publication of internet phenom-
enon and popular culture, alongside
its mainstream news stories.
Jasmin s mother, Lennie Harri-
son, told the Northern Outlook she
was amused her daughter s
homeschooling project had attracted
so much attention.
We started out talking about how
letters to the editor used to be very
stiff and formal, she said.
Nowadays, you can express all
kinds of opinions in them and it s
been very interesting to see the
reactions in the paper.
She said her daughter was well
spoken, but not outspoken, and was
a committed Christian.
Jasmin would probably say that
this kind of response is in God s
hands now and just carry on, Mrs
ENDLESS: Kaiapoi constable Michael Kneebone in front of the tagged Kaiapoi Boat Club, damaged in an outbreak of graffiti on Thursday night last week.
Kaiapoi roller tagger
By RACHEL MACDONALD
CONTINUED Page 4
You go out of your way to help someone and the
guy you're looking for ends up right there beside
Constable Michael Kneebone
KAIAPOI POLICE have arrested a 17-year-
old Christchurch youth and an 18-year-old
local man for alleged intentional damage
after a bizarre turn of events on the week-
end brought an end to an extensive -- and
expensive -- spate of tagging in the town.
Constable Michael Kneebone said on Fri-
day that police were alerted to the vandal-
ism that morning after someone had gone
nuts with paint and a roller brush on
It was absolutely everywhere -- homes,
community buildings, commercial proper-
ties. Kaiapoi Borough School was also hit
again, after having windows and walls
kicked in the other week, he said.
People have just had enough. This is a
town that s been struggling determinedly to
get ahead since the earthquakes, and the
last thing it needs is this kind of mindless
By noon on Friday, he had counted 15
tagged sites, with Graffiti-Busters estimat-
ing a cost to the community of about $40,000
to put the damage right. Both figures rose
later that day. There was a silver lining,
however -- one wall had been defaced near a
closed circuit television camera (CCTV) in
the town centre.
By Saturday morning, police had sur-
veyed eight hours of CCTV footage and
identified a number of useful images. Then
events conspired to help out further.
I was at work on Saturday afternoon,
driving the rounds, when I saw a hitch-hiker
on the road out of Kaiapoi, said Constable
The weather was horrible -- freezing cold
and pouring down -- and I felt really sorry
for him, so I picked him up.
The first thing I noticed was that his
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