Destiny Church was awarded $860,000 in government funding last year. Is it not self-evident that to fund and encourage Destiny Church is to fund and encourage religious fundamentalism, and the homophobia that these beliefs inevitably entail?
Whanau Ora minister Tariana Turia said she would not treat Destiny any differently from any other community group and believed they were a strong organisation.
“I would never, ever discriminate against Destiny Church. My firm belief is that they do a really great job.”
What sets Destiny Church apart from other community groups is their continued efforts to deprive the LGBT community of several basic rights, including the right to marry. At a time when LGBT bullying is an issue of increasing public concern, what message does it send to fund an organization that has consistently and aggressively attacked the LGBT community?
Brian Tamaki himself has claimed to exorcise the “homosexual spirit” from parishioners, and identified a “radical homosexual agenda” as one of the four key problems with New Zealand society (see Tamaki’s promotional DVD, “A Nation Under Siege”). Tamaki has even sought to further LGBT-intolerance within the Maori community, attacking a New Zealand AIDS Foundation’s takatapui HIV-prevention project during a Radio Pacific interview, in which he referred to traditional Māori pre-colonial intolerance for male homosexuality, painting a picture of a society which, he claimed, exterminated gay and lesbian people.
It’s time to say “Enough is enough.”