Christian bigot blames abortions, gay sex and porn for New Zealand’s cyclone tragedy

New Zealand church leader Brian Tamaki stands in front of a stormy background

A church leader has reportedly blamed homosexuality and porn for the recent cyclone that battered New Zealand and parts of Australia.

According to Brian Tamaki, who leads Destiny Church in New Zealand, Cyclone Gabrielle was an act of God brought on by porn users’ “moral depravity and degradation” – a conclusion he came to by watching porn for research.

The self-styled “apostle”, who also blamed the tragedy on abortions, gave an hour-long sermon that was live-streamed on Facebook, and claimed that the towns of Gisborne and Hastings were hardest hit by the cyclone because they have the “highest number of porn watchers in the country”.

The fundamentalist Christian added that he “hopped on” a [porn] site to research the “perversion that is linked to bad weather”. 

The NZ Herald reported Tamaki as saying: “That city in there, Hastings and Gisborne, has the highest number of porn watchers in the country and it’s one of the biggest averages per capita in the world.

“And they’re the biggest watchers on the porn site of gay porn. I know! And I closed it and thought, ‘I can’t do this in church, I can’t say this publicly.'”

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New Zealand was earmarked for destruction because, according to Tamaki, it has the “queerest parliament in the world”.

His rant continued: “Please, stop watching porn, New Zealand. It’s getting us in trouble. By the way, I don’t watch porn”.

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The mayor of Gisborne, Rehette Stoltz, responded by telling The Spinoff that Tamaki’s claims were “disappointing, unhelpful and laughable”.

She added: “We have families struggling after losing their homes and their livelihoods, and a much-loved community member lost his life. In true Kiwi style, the rest of NZ have mucked in and supported us every step of the way.

“I suggest Brian stop wasting his time ‘researching’ Pornhub and instead join the rest of New Zealand who have donated time, energy and money to help us get back on our feet.”

Beyond blaming the LGBTQ+ community for natural disasters, Tamaki, who also founded the right-wing Freedoms NZ political party, has attempted to stop progressive legislation from being passed in New Zealand, hitting out at a conversion therapy ban after it was passed in 2021.

In an article, he wrote that the ban would mean “good parents being criminalised for being… good parents”, and that the LGBTQ+ community is “aggressively” dominating cultural discussion. 

Ahead of the ban, it was found that the legislation was the best-supported bill in the country’s history.

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