NEW ZEALAND – Sixteen complaints have been received by the Human Rights Commission following Brian Tamaki’s rant blaming gay people, murderers and ‘sinners’ for earthquakes.
Tamaki, Destiny Church Leader, gave a sermon the day before last week’s massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake and told churchgoers quakes were a result of sexual perversions. The quake killed two people. He also blamed a gay priest and the Christchurch population for the devastating earthquakes that hit Canterbury in 2010 and 2011, killing 185 people.
Destiny Church then re-posted the sermon on Facebook after the quake, saying they had already predicted the earthquake would happen.
The post said, “As predicted during yesterday morning’s service, the recent natural disasters are a sign that ‘nature was never created to carry the bondage of our iniquity.”
Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley said, “Tamaki’s words are a lesson to us all that intolerance and prejudice is very real. At this time when families are mourning loved ones and many more are scared and wondering how to face the next day, this kind of message is frankly, disgusting.”
Prime Minister John Key said Tamaki’s comments were “ridiculous” and the mayor of Kaikoura,a Winston Gray, called them “pathetic”.
The sermon also prompted an online campaign asking people to donate to Rainbow Youth using Brian Tamaki’s name. More than $3000 had been given by the end of last week.
A HRC spokeswoman said the 16 complaints against Tamaki could result in “mediation and resolution”.