Brian Tamaki's comments on "gaypower" have been defended by an unlikely ally - an openly gay man who is close friends with the Destiny Church leader and his wife Hannah.
Jevan Goulter, 26, has written an open letter to the Herald about his relationship with the couple and a response to Bishop Tamaki's comments at the church's three-day Born in the Fire conference that "gay is the new thing", it was taking over the world and churches were powerless to stop it.
But Mr Goulter, who is a former Mana party staffer and has worked for economist Gareth Morgan, said the Tamakis had never made him feel uncomfortable about his sexuality.
"I know their view on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex [LGBTI] community. However, if I based my friends simply on who did and did not agree with me, I would be the biggest loner in New Zealand and sitting on my own like Brendan Horan did in Parliament.
"Do I agree with their views on homosexuality? Obviously not, no, how could I? I will never be a hypocrite about who I am or feel ashamed or unworthy for it."
He said the couple had "embraced" his partners in the past.
"I broke up with one of my partners and Hannah was the first person to make sure I was okay."
Although he is not a member of the church, Mr Goulter said he met the Tamakis at a Destiny Church conference four years ago. He said he had been pig hunting with Bishop Tamaki, and the pair often ate together.
"If I get married, I will be inviting the Tamakis to the ceremony. Hell, I might even ask them to marry me, and if they say 'No way', well, what do I care? That's their view and I'll respect it, just the same way they will have to respect sitting there as I kiss the groom."
He said many of his friends - including transsexual former politician Georgina Beyer - frowned upon his friendship with the Tamakis.
"I sit here and write this aware there are people who disagree with the way in which the Tamakis operate and the things they say. Even as I write this I look up at Georgina Beyer sitting across the living room from me after I popped around for my usual Sunday cup of coffee, seething."
Ms Beyer told the Herald she thought the Tamakis' homophobic views were "not appropriate in this day and age", and called Bishop Tamaki's comments "hateful and hurtful".
She said when the couple paid to attend a fundraiser to aid her battle with kidney disease in 2013, she had hoped it was a signal that they had altered their views.
"That outburst he had [on Friday] just goes to show his word can't be trusted," she said. "It just betrays all of that. It's not intelligent."
But Ms Beyer said at the end of the day Mr Goulter could be friends with whoever he wanted.
"He enjoys their company and they've generally been good to him."
A spokeswoman for Destiny confirmed that Bishop Tamaki and his wife were good friends with Mr Goulter, but the pair did not make any further comments about him.
Read below the open letter from Jevan Goulter
In regards to Brian Tamaki's comments over the weekend at the Destiny conference, my opinion is simply that it's not a big issue because it is not any different from what he has said in the past.
I was not present at the conference that took place over the weekend but, was Tamaki's speech a fire and brimstone homophobic rant designed to offend people? Maybe to those who let themselves be offended.
But it is something that certainly does not preclude me from being proud of calling Brian and Hannah Tamaki great mates.
Tamaki talks to his people about the same thing he always has since the Enough is Enough march. [In August 2004 Destiny Church lead a march to parliament protesting the Labour government's policy changes to the drinking age, legalising of prostitution and the introduction of the civil union bill].
I consider both Brian and Hannah Tamaki close friends and I am an openly gay male.
Yes it is true, I like to sleep with men, and in case there's any confusion or anybody wants to save me from that, it is okay, you do not need to, because I completely enjoy every moment of it!
Has this ever created an issue between the Tamaki's and myself? Never.
I know their view on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, however if I based my friends simply on who did and did not agree with me, I would be the biggest loner in New Zealand and sitting on my own like Brendan Horan did in Parliament.
Brian and Hannah accompanied me to Georgina Beyer's tribute dinner two years ago.
They walked into a room with a 200 strong group of LGBTI people and cross party politicians, sat down with myself, Hone Harawira, Megan Alatini, and Mika the entertainer and enjoyed dinner for hours in honour of a LGBTI icon, enjoying the entertainment provided by that community.
I am not a member of Destiny Church, but I have been there on numerous occasions, and two of their annual conferences.
I'm not particularly inspired by Brian or Hannah specifically, however I am inspired by how many families and individuals they have helped in their congregation, who I now have the privilege of knowing personally.
All churches use the bible as their foundation, so why are we so blown away by what Tamaki is saying?
I have put money in the offering collection when I attend, just the same as when I attend a marae, or any other church service in the country.
The gifting is my choice and on the flipside I usually make Brian pay for lunch at the food court, so in a sense it is a smart investment on my part.
I agree with a lot of what the Tamakis do, including their social welfare work, childhood education and community outreach programs.
Do I agree with their views on homosexuality? Obviously not, no how could I? I will never be a hypocrite about who I am or feel ashamed or unworthy for it.
At least I know with the Tamakis that our friendship is based on trust and transparency. I know exactly what they think which is more than I can say for a lot of other failed friendships.
Brian Tamaki is a man who has the dynasty to actually be vocal about what he thinks, based on his faith inside the four walls of his church.
In terms of what Brian said, I imagine it has been taken out of context.
He talks about gay power and how the gay community is well organized. Well he is not wrong is he? In fact the LGBTI community should take it as a compliment ...
He then talks about the fire being taken out of the churches. Well I don't think that is incorrect either.
He talks about being shocked by Ireland's decision to legalize gay marriage. Frankly I would not have thought the Catholic stronghold would have supported that by popular vote either!
He said, "The perversion of homosexuality is leading the charge". Yes well I disagree with his choice of words completely but is he actually not wrong. Gays do run the world, next to Beyonce!
"Churches are powerless. You go there and you talk about that now and you'd be driven out of town," he stated.
That is their problem anyway...
The Tamakis have both embraced my former relationship partners in the past, and my gay friends who at first were sceptical but came out absolutely loving them both.
I broke up with one of my partners and Hannah was the first person to make sure I was ok.
Never once have I ever felt judged, devalued or degraded for who I choose to be in a relationship with and who I take to the bedroom to light the fireworks.
When I wanted to go pig hunting, Brian Tamaki took me out to no man's land with the boys for three days, to teach me how the sport is done.
A real man's man thing, running around the country side with rifles in a sport which was exhilarating and physically intensive with half a dozen other straight men for three days.
Not once did I ever feel disconnected or frowned upon.
I stand in my own confidence, my own self-assurance and my own certainty of whom I am with, and he respects me for that.
People say I must be using them, or them me. Or we must both be using each other.
It's as if people think we fly around in helicopters, stay in five star hotels and only ever fly business class across the ditch. It's far from the reality of lunch at the Manukau food court and if we feel like really living it up then popping into Denny's!
Those who think I might be educating them about having a softer touch, or coming to understand the LGBTI community better, or think Hannah holds me down as Brian performs an exorcism to pray away the gay out of me - it's all absurd. We don't do anything of the sort, because that is not what friends do.
Only once has Hannah ever said quietly that I would make a woman very happy if I wanted to. Let's face it she's hardly wrong in making that statement.
I worked for the MANA Movement and Hone Harawira for four years. I loved the members (bar a few) and enjoyed a good relationship with Hone Harawira and Hilda Halkyard-Harawira. Did I agree with everything that they stood for? Not at all, yes feed the poor, breakfast in schools and all those other social issues, but if you dig deeper into their policies and philosophies there was very little I got passionate about. That did not mean I did not have a great working and personal relationship with them.
If I get married, I will be inviting the Tamakis to the ceremony. Hell, I might even ask them to marry me, and if they say "no way", well what do I care? That's their view and I'll respect it, just the same way they will have to respect sitting there as I kiss the groom. Unfortunately this does not look to be happening anytime soon ...
If certain members of the gay community and feminist journalists spent more time focusing on issues affecting communities rather than their own, think of the difference they could make.
They might even be able to help as many people in the community as Destiny Church has out in South Auckland.
I sit here and write this understanding and aware there are people who disagree with the way in which the Tamakis operate and the things they say. Even as I write this I look up at Georgina Beyer sitting across the living room from me after I popped around for my usual Sunday cup of coffee, seething.
Nevertheless, I do not apologise for my friendships.
And anyway, at the opening of Destiny Church, Brian clearly said I would be going to heaven, so whatever happens, I'm good!