Tamaki apologises for years of offensive remarks about gay people

Perhaps it’s a double epiphany, perhaps it’s political pragmatism, but Brian Tamaki has apologised for past remarks about gay people, and he and his wife (and leader of the new NZ Coalition Party) “are encouraging respectful treatment and understanding of gay people.”

“After years of anti-gay rhetoric, Brian and Hannah Tamaki are encouraging respectful treatment and understanding of gay people.”

Stuff: Destiny Church’s Brian Tamaki apologises to gay community

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has apologised for years of offensive remarks about gay people.

In an extraordinary admission of regret, Tamaki said: “I said ‘I want to include something with the gay community’. We don’t want our children or our children’s children to carry those unresolved issues.”

“I think everybody remembers 2004,” he said, referring to the Enough is Enough marches against the civil union bill.

The self-proclaimed bishop voiced some regret at how he and Destiny had behaved in the early 2000s.

He said if he had another chance: “we’d do some things differently. It has never been my intent to cause hurt or harm.”

He blamed news media for what he called misconceptions about the church.

After the event, Tamaki said some people told him he shouldn’t have apologised.

“But I’m bigger than that.”

He said he was sincere about treating members of the Rainbow community with kindness.

He was asked if he believed gay people went to hell.

“I don’t go around talking like that. I don’t say that. I’ve never said that.”

In 2016, Tamaki blamed earthquakes on “gays, sinners and murderers“.

On Saturday night he said he did not believe homosexual activity in any way caused earthquakes.

A big step forward for the Tamakis, perhaps.

Homosexual conversion therapy

TVNZ’s Sunday had an item on what is commonly referred to as gay conversion therapy in New Zealand. Mostly religious groups offer therapy that claims or implies people can be taught not to be homosexual.

Usual religious coercions like promising heaven for complying and threatening hell if the ‘sinning’ continues are used.

TVNZ: ‘Pray the gay away’ – Homosexual conversion therapy happening in NZ

Therapy is being offered to “cure” people who find themselves attracted to the same sex, where their attraction is contrary to their own religious beliefs.

TVNZ’s Sunday programme spoke with three gay men about the conversion therapy they’ve been through.

Undercover footage of this therapy, or “spiritual healing”, or “praying the gay away”, shows the claims being made about its potential to cure same sex attraction.

One therapist says: “Your attraction can absolutely be changed. We need to rewire your brain, and it is completely doable.”

Another therapist who Sunday spoke to undercover claims: “No one is born that way and so if that’s the case, it must be possible to change. Alcoholics change, thieves change, all sorts of people change.”

Of course once you’re dead there’s not much chance of complaining for being given false expectations or hopes.

But there’s a real chance of hellish suffering from guilt and failure while homosexuals are subjected to psychological mistreatment while they are alive.

It’s difficult to appreciate what it’s like for a homosexual person living in a disapproving environment, especially a religious one.

I think the best way of understanding what it might be like being a homosexual subject to conversion therapy is to imagine what it might be like as a heterosexual being given coercive therapy to turn you homosexual.

Or in the context of a political blog, as a right winger try to imagine what it might be like getting therapy that tries to convert you into a leftie, or as a left winger try to imagine a conversion to the right.

I’m neither so I can imagine what it would be like getting therapy for converting me to a fixed political belief (shudder).

It is unlikely to feel anywhere near as much as what homosexuals must experience, but trying to convert an innate sexuality must really risk causing severe difficulties for the subject (one of those interviewed came out of therapy and attempted suicide).

 

 

Disgraceful sermon, disgraceful pastor

The US seems to be heading down a slippery slope of intolerance and violence, greased by President Trump.

But we are not immune from exteme rhetoric here either. It’s very sad to see this sort of un-Christian preaching in New Zealand.

NZH:  West Auckland pastor preaches gay people should be shot

A West Auckland pastor has delivered a sermon calling for gay people to be shot.

Westcity Bible Baptist Church pastor Logan Robertson agrees his comments are hate speech but is unapologetic.

Footage posted online at the end of July shows Robertson making highly offensive comments against homosexuals.

My view on homo marriage is that the Bible never mentions it so I’m not against them getting married,” Robertson says.

“As long as a bullet goes through their head the moment they kiss … Because that’s what it talks about – not homo marriage but homo death.”

Bullets weren’t mentioned in the bible either Marriages as they are today didn’t exist then either.

WestCity is independent and has no association with the Baptist denomination of New Zealand.

I expect this is isolated religious nuttery.

As they should.

Stuff: Auckland police look to speak with pastor who made violent anti-gay remarks

Detective Senior Sergeant Marcia Murray said on Wednesday police intend to speak with Robertson.

“We recognise that members of our communities will be concerned and fearful about those comments and we would like to make it very clear that we are treating this matter very seriously.”

This is not an isolated outburst.

PASTOR’S LONG HATE SPEECH HISTORY

In the most recent video, published on Sunday, Robertson said he did not believe women should be allowed to vote.

He also said newly appointed Labour leader Jacinda Ardern should leave parliament and “get in the kitchen where women belong”.

Religious positions abused can be dangerous as well as disgraceful.

Sexual identity survey

Whale Oil is running a reader survey on age, gender, sexual identity and where you live.

Actually they are running a second survey because the first one was faulty.

Brief Whaleoil Readership Survey because of poorly phrased original question

Dear Readers due to my inexperience I phrased a question poorly in the recent Whaleoil readership survey so the results were inaccurate.

In order to get an accurate picture I have redone that part of the survey and hope that you will all be so kind as to answer it for us.I have also added the option of not answering the sexual preference question.

Unusually for a survey SB has also included her predictions for what she thinks results will be.

SB is mistaken if she thinks she “will get an accurate picture” from a self-selecting online poll, no matter how many times she re-arranges the questions.

There is no way of determining what accuracy you can get from polls like this. They are generally regarded as totally unreliable, except by media organisations trying to make headlines and stories.

In particular asking a question about sexual identity is at the best of times difficult to get accurate results. Particularly with deeply personal questions (at least there’s an option for “None of your business that question is too personal”) it’s well known that people often avoid answering accurately.

I am asking the question because Whaleoil was a big supporter of the gay marriage bill but we have been accused of being homophobic by the left. I am interested to see how many gay readers we have for that reason.

It sounds like she may be using the survey to try and show that Whale Oil is not “homophobic” but given that there are a number of authors and many commenters the survey makes no attempt to evaluate homophobia.

The results from the first inaccurate question, indicated that we have seven gay readers.

No it didn’t indicate that at all.

Typically there are many more readers than active participants on blogs, so a survey is unlikely to give any meaningful measure of the sexual preference of readers.

Seven respondents indicated they were gay, whether they are ot not, that is all.

There is no assurance given of privacy of information – I don’t think Whale Oil would in this case misuse information provided by readers but many people are very wary of what they divulge on the Internet, as they should be. That will increase self selection and in particular self non-selection.

The survey may be ‘fun’ for SB but there can be no confidence in getting anything like an accurate picture of the sexual identity of it’s readers.

And even though some readers may be prepared to reveal their sexual identity that does nothing to determine whether straight or gay or bi or ‘other’ participants see Whale Oil as homophobic or not.

Orlando shooting

A shooting at an Orlando night club is the worst mass shooting in US history with 50 reported dead and over 50 injured.

The gunman, who has been named by law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, is also dead.

Orlando Police have described it as a “domestic terror incident” with one report saying that the lone killer has pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Stuff has a summary:

  • Reports of shots fired at 2.02am local time.
  • Orlando Police engaged in gun battle with suspect who went back into Pulse nightclub and started a hostage situation.
  • The gunman was armed with an assault-type rifle and a handgun, and had a “suspicious device” on him.
  • Orlando Police have confirmed at least 50 people died in the shooting.
  • 53 people were injured, including one police officer.
  • There were “no witness accounts of a second shooter”, according to police.
  • The gunman, named by law enforcement sources as Omar Mateen, is dead.
  • Authorities have warned the public to stay away from the area.
  • Heavily-armed police were searching cars near Orange Regional Medical Centre, a short distance from Pulse Nightclub.
  • A “loud bang” heard from inside the club was a controlled explosion by law enforcement.
  • Shortly after the attack began, a message was posted on Pulse’s Facebook account, reading: “Everyone get out of pulse and keep running”.

Barack Obama: “We will not give into fear and turn against each other”.

Barack Obama: “This is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends our fellow Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.”

Newshub: Omar Mateen father says his son wasn’t religiously motivated but rampage may have been sparked by “gay couple he’d seen kissing on streets”.

The US has 5% of the world’s population, but has had 31% of public mass shootings.

ISIS has just issued its daily news bulletin. Of note – no mention of Orlando.

“The father of the shooter said his son became incensed by sight of two gay men kissing.”

While this mass shooting is the worst in US history it is claimed to be the 133rd mass shooting in the US this year, the 15th in Florida and the 4th in Orlando.

We’re 164 days into 2016. We’ve had 133 mass shootings

The non-profit Gun Violence Archive (GVA) tracks mass shootings in the United States.

And their data shows that there have been 76 days this year with mass shootings in the United States — and 88 days without.

A total of 207 people have died in those incidents, including the known victims of the shooting this morning in Orlando.

Gunman Omar Shaddiqui Mateen, 29. Had been identified by FBI as “ISIS sympathiser”. Born in New York, parents from Afghanistan.

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Mass murder Omar Mateen

Mateen was previously under investigation by the FBI in 2013 and 2014.

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In the kitchen with Colin

“Obviously not all women belong in the kitchen. Any gay woman worth her salt should be cooking in a well ventilated closet.”

Russel Norman’ s clash of principles

Russel Norman appears to be choosing one principle over another in his clash with Colin Craig over Norman’s comments at the Big Gay Out

Colin Craig looks determined to press ahead with legal action against Russel Norman, claiming he was defamed by what Norman said. The allegedly offending words:

“Now the thing about Colin Craig is he thinks that a woman’s place is in the kitchen and a gay man’s place is in the closet.”

Both Craig and Norman have just been interviewed on TVNZ’s Breakfast. Their positions appear to be entrenched, with Craig promising to carry through his legal threat if Norman doesn’t apologise.

He says Norman “couldn’t be more wrong. The statement is factually untrue.” And Craig wants to see the standard of political debate raised a lot higher than it is at the moment.

In response Norman quoted Craig on gay issues saying it was it was “disgusting politics of hate, of saying these people are different” and that he is “Standing up for the kind of place we want to live in”.

TVNZ: Colin Craig should apologize for ‘disgusting comments’ (2:54)

Newstalk ZB reports that Norman is supported by his co-leader:

The other Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, is supporting Russel Norman’s stance.

“I think Russel and right and the Green Party is right to stand up for women and for gay men and to identify offensive language, offensive statements, when we see them.”

And Craig…

…says he’ll announce his next steps on Friday, but court action is the likely path.

“I am very determined to raise standard of debate and I think I’ve shown that through previous actions but we’re just going to keep on and we’re going to make sure people are accurately debating, that robust discussion is honest and fair discussion.

Norman has highlighted controversial things Craig has actually said about homosexuals but is not claiming his Big Gay Out comments were intended literally, they were representative of offensive attitudes.

Whether it is defamation or not looks to be up to the lawyers.

But there seems to be a clash of principles here for Norman. He is claiming a principle of standing up to people like Craig who like make “offensive” comments.

And Craig is claiming a principle of standing up to politicians like Norman who say untrue things about opponents and wants better standards in political debate – something the Greens have stood up for in the past.

Greens have stated Party Values:

As a party and as members of that party, we aim to:

6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks

In this case Norman is making personal attacks on Craig, and it appears has falsely claimed what Craig thinks. This is a political tactic that annoys the Greens when aimed at them, but they appear to have decided to delve in the dark arts of politics.

This is an interesting clash, ignoring one principle to stand up for another.

A very special wedding day for some

Today is a special day for some couples – for the first time in New Zealand they will be able to get legally married. The same-sex marriage law changes come into effect today.

This won’t affect most of us, those of us who are not gay, and those of us not invited to attend a gay marriage.

But it is a major step towards equality for those who are no included in the freedom of choice on marriage.

And the sun will rise again tomorrow, and the next day, when people of any sexual orientation will have the choice to get married.

Congratulations to all those who get married today. I treasure my marriage, and I’m glad that you have that option now too.

Pope: being gay is ok, acting gay is a sin

I usually avoid religion, but this news is a positive step (for a Catholic pope). Pope Francis seems to be a modern and enlightened pontiff – to an extent. But he showed he had limits – that put gay people in an impossible situation.

Pope: Who am I to judge gay people?

Pope Francis says gay people should not be marginalised, instead they should be integrated into society, in some of the most conciliatory remarks by a pontiff on the issue of homosexuality.

‘Who am I to judge?’

In response to a question about reports of a “gay lobby” in the Vatican, after it suffered a string of scandals over paedophile priests and corruption in the administration of the Holy See, Francis said:

“If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him?

“The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation, or lobbies of greedy people, political lobbies, Masonic lobbies, so many lobbies. This is the worst problem,” he said.

“You see a lot written about the gay lobby. I still have not seen anyone in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay,” he joked.

Sounds very good. But it only went so far, there are still some very conservative limits.

In fact there is a major catch – he won’t judge people for being gay but judges gay behaviour as a sin.

Francis defended all gays from discrimination but also referred to the Catholic Church’s universal Catechism, which says that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

“The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalised because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society,” he said, speaking in Italian and using the word “gay”, instead of “homosexual” which previous pontiffs mainly used.

So that’s contradictory – being gay is ok, acting gay is a sin.

It’s like saying being Catholic is fine but praying is forbidden.

And another conservative church position is still entrenched.

‘No’ to women priests is definitive

Addressing the issue of women priests, the pope said, “The Church has spoken and says ‘no’ … that door is closed.” It was the first time he had spoken in public on the subject.

“We cannot limit the role of women in the Church to altar girls or the president of a charity, there must be more …,” he said in answer to a question.

“But with regards to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says ‘no’. Pope John Paul said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed,” he said, referring to a document by the late pontiff which said the ban was part of the infallible teaching of the Church.

So the pope has caught up with the mid nineteen hundreds. Can he modernise the Catholic Church any more than that?

Gay is naff

One version of gay is very similar to naff. From the Urban Dictionary:

1. naff

British slang, today meaning uncool, tacky, unfashionable, worthless… or as a softer expletive, in places where one might use “fuck” as in “naff off”, “naff all”, “naffing about”.

Origins of the word are disputed, but it appears to have come from Polari (gay slang), used to dismissively refer to heterosexual people. It was introduced as a less offensive expletive verb (“naff off”) in the ’70s UK television show, Porridge. “Naff off!” was famously used by Princess Anne in 1982.

Naff the naffing naffers.

2. naff
British slang, describes something that is stupid, lame or unpalatable.

That party was naff — they ran out of beer, and the people were way too uptight.

3. naff

Of poor quality – in particular, tacky or obvious in some way.
That song is SOO naff.

Ironically: gay slang used to dismissively refer to heterosexual people.

But the expletive version doesn’t fit, “gay the gaying gayers” doesn’t have the same ring to it.