Destiny Church says no hard feelings over harbour bridge ban

Destiny Church expects about 10,000 people to turn up for a march in central Auckland tomorrow and says being refused permission to cross the harbour bridge was no longer an issue.

Marchers will instead walk the 2.5km from the waterfront up Queen Street to Myers Park to protest at civil union legislation and to "uphold traditional family values and the institution of marriage".

Destiny Church is organising the event, dubbed Defend the Legacy, with the Auckland Christian Life Centre and North Shore's City Impact Church.

March spokeswoman Janine Cardno said today that it was difficult to put a firm figure on the numbers attending.

"I'm picking there will be around 10,000 easily, but you really don't know," she said.

"We've got 20 smaller churches joining and loads of people from all over the country are coming, but we don't know if it's car loads or bus loads."

March organisers had originally wanted to walk across the harbour bridge, but Transit New Zealand ruled that out for safety reasons.

Ms Cardno said there was no lingering disappointment at being denied permission.

"No, the issue is what we are standing for and not the bridge or where we go," she said.

"It's obviously discriminatory, but it would be going on a side track to take issue about that. It would detract from what we are doing."

The march starts at 11am and will be followed by speeches in Myers Park from midday.

A counter demonstration will be held in the Auckland University quad.

Green Party social services spokeswoman Sue Bradford said her party supported the "Don't Hate, Celebrate" event promoting diversity.

"Like many New Zealanders, I'm deeply concerned by some aspects of the message being spread by the Destiny Church and its political offshoots," Ms Bradford said in a statement.

"The hostility and put-downs they direct at homosexual New Zealanders, prostitutes and solo parents are a concerning development for this country's political climate."

- NZPA

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