Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Charity for queer youth unlikely beneficiaries of Tamaki's quake comments

A charity supporting young LGBTIQ New Zealanders is benefiting from Brian Tamaki's earthquake comments in a surprising way.

Donations are being made to Rainbow Youth in the name of the Destiny Church leader, after he said Monday's 7.8 magnitude earthquake was caused by gay people, sinners and murderers.

Rainbow Youth spokeswoman Toni Duder said so far the charity had been given about $500 in donations on behalf of Tamaki.

"It's made everyone's day."

Donations ranged from $10 to $100 and Duder said they were grateful for every dollar.

The donations would help pay for essentials like the power bills at the charity's K Rd drop in centre.

"Any money that comes through our doors helps us so much.

"Without their support we wouldn't be here doing what we're doing and it's really heartwarming and beautiful."

The idea took off after being suggested on Twitter yesterday in a tweet which Rainbow Youth retweeted to their 2400 followers.


"A young community member tweeted [saying] let's combat negativity with positivity, let's donate to rainbow youth in the name of Brian Tamaki."

About 20 people had donated so far and Rainbow Youth had suggested sending Tamaki a thank you note if they raised $1000 in his name.

"It's absolutely incredible to see people harness this negative energy and do something productive with it," Duder said.

Tamaki's comments were unnecessary at a time when many parts of the country were struggling after the quake, which is what he should be focused on, Duder said.

"We just want to keep reminding young people that there are religious organisations that do support them."

Rainbow Youth was able to suggest places for young, queer, religious people to express their faith if they felt unsafe, Duder said.

Tamaki was roundly criticised for his comments, with one Auckland vicar calling his sermon completely illogical," and compared it to blaming sin for child cancer.

Quoting the Old Testament on Sunday, the day before a massive earthquake struck the country killing two and leaving thousands stranded, with limited food, water, shelter and communication, Tamaki told churchgoers the earth "convulses under the weight of certain human sin."

A video of the sermon is pinned to the top of the Destiny Church Facebook page.

Tamaki has since defended his sermon, saying he actually meant anybody indulging in illicit sexual behaviour, adultery, child abuse and more.

- NZ Herald

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