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RainbowYOUTH refuses donations from Destiny Church event speakers

Newshub logoNewshub 2/06/2019 Scott Palmer, Cleo Fraser
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A LGBTQ youth organisation is refusing to accept donations from speakers at a Destiny Church event.

Destiny held a conference on Saturday aimed at forging a new relationship with the LGBTQ community, where leader Brian Tamaki apologised to "anyone that has been hurt" by his previous statements, which include blaming gay people for earthquakes.

"If in the past I have made you feel [ridiculed], then I hope that this is something that we can begin to rectify," he told attendees.

Also speaking at the event were two members of the LGBTQ community - Rainbow New Zealand trustee Jacquie Grant and drag artist James Laverty, who said "you make change by coming together".

As koha for attending, the pair were given envelopes with "a couple hundred dollars" in them. Grant has confirmed to Newshub they received a $500 payment and said this would be donated to RainbowYOUTH.

But RainbowYOUTH said it won't be accepting the donations.

"We are concerned by the way RainbowYOUTH's name and reputation has been used to offset the support of this event," a spokesperson said.

"The views expressed by Brian Tamaki and Destiny Church have been damaging and inflammatory for the rainbow community. The timing of his apology to the community on the eve of the launch of a political party is dubious and rings completely hollow. Therefore, we will be returning the donations."

Following his apperance at Destiny Church, James Laverty resigned from his position at Rainbow Pride late on Sunday afternoon.

“To pursue opportunities working with churches across New Zealand it’s time I step away from Rainbow Pride Auckland and let the board continue planning for next year’s pride month,” Laverty said in a statement.

Anyone wishing to donate to RainbowYOUTH can do so via its website.

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