Lone protest at gay-cure church talk

By Mohamed Hassan

A member of the Bay's gay community said she was saddened by the seminar. Photo / Thinkstock
A member of the Bay's gay community said she was saddened by the seminar. Photo / Thinkstock

A lone protester made her opposition known as she stood outside a Northland church seminar offering to help people overcome "same-sex attraction issues".

The talk, hosted by Paihia's Baptist Church yesterday, was advertised in community newspapers last week, and sparked a furore on social media and in the gay community.

The ad invited anyone who had problems with same-sex attraction, or a loved one who did, to hear the life story of a man who had overcome his issues.

He and his wife had helped many others, the ad said.

Ohaeawai woman Alissa Gibbs called for a peaceful protest, and yesterday stood outside the church and plastered posters on its sign and fence saying "God loves us all", and "Free 2 Be".

Despite the initial uproar, the turnout was modest, and Gibbs and others took to Facebook to voice their disappointments.

"I do so love how Northlanders get fired up about something and then do dick about it," Gibbs posted on the page.

Donna Reddish agreed. "Yep I know, I drove past saw no one there too so didn't stop."

Others were less enthusiastic about the protest.

"If that was my fence, I'd ring the police and press charges of graffiti/vandalism," said Shaun Walburn.

"The church isn't hurting anyone ... What a load of whining liberal claptrap."

A member of the Bay's gay community said she was saddened by the seminar and the idea that gays had to be cured, but she also felt sorry for church members who were following their own beliefs.

Pastor Bill Anderson earlier expressed his disappointment in the attacks on him and the church.

- APNZ

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