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Tamaki's quake comments harmful: MP

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016

Mr Tamaki gave a sermon in which he claimed quakes were caused by sin building up and spewing out of the ground © Ross Setford/Getty Images Mr Tamaki gave a sermon in which he claimed quakes were caused by sin building up and spewing out of the ground Another MP has laid into Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki's comments about homosexuality causing earthquakes, saying he's damaging young gay people.

Wellington-based National list MP Paul Foster-Bell said he was prompted to talk publicly about his sexuality because the comments made him "furious".

He felt that as a gay member of the National government, he had a moral obligation to speak out.

The day before last month's magnitude-7.8 Kaikoura quake, Mr Tamaki gave a sermon in which he claimed quakes were caused by sin building up and spewing out of the ground. He hasn't backed down since then.

Mr Foster-Bell said that for young people growing up in provincial New Zealand, like he did, it was "throwing petrol on a fire when you send out a message that gay people are very similar to murderers, they're sinners, and they're creating natural disasters".

"You and I can dismiss that as intelligent adults as just being ludicrous, but for those kids, that's actually a really hurtful thing at an already difficult time in their life," he told TVNZ's Q+A programme.

Labour's Grant Robertson, also gay, has described Mr Tamaki as "a ridiculous, irrelevant bigot".

Both Prime Minister John Key and Human Rights Commissioner Richard Tankersley have also rejected the idea that homosexuality causes earthquakes as ignorant.

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