OutLine stands with councils supporting rainbow inclusion

By April 8, 2024 News

OutLine Aotearoa Chief Executive, Emmaline Pickering-Martin, gave this statement to RNZ following Destiny Church’s announcement that it plans to sue councils that fund rainbow initiatives.

You can read the RNZ news story here, and read the full statement below:

OutLine Aotearoa stands firmly in support of councils across Aotearoa who are inclusive and act in ways that promote inclusion of our takatāpui, MVPFAFF+ and rainbow communities. This includes investment in Rainbow initiatives behind the scenes and publicly like; rainbow advisory groups, rainbow crossings, rainbow flags and Pride events. These investments like many others may not have immediately apparent tangible outcomes but we as a rainbow mental health organisation can testify to the positive individual and community outcomes that come from such investments.

We would like to highlight what we have witnessed, which has been an outpouring of support for rainbow communities, and strong condemnation of Destiny Church, following the criminal activity that their members have undertaken in the name of the Tamakis. Rainbow communities have always and will always be a part of the fabric of Aotearoa. No amount of vandalism of public property is going to take that away. Neither is the sharing of outright lies by Brian and Hannah Tamaki.

It’s important to contextualise these claims as coming from multi-millionaire running a multimillion-dollar tax-free company that has no issue in taking substantial proportions salaries as donations from their own low income whānau. Tamaki does not care for struggling rate payers but instead is preying on vulnerable people’s fears and stress to manipulate them into a false sense of community and purpose that does not create or promote a safe society.

Caring about young people is caring about a young rainbow person figuring out who they are and providing awhi and support for them and their whānau to live with aroha in their truth. Caring about young people is not subjecting them to conversion practices. This causes long-term harm, limits the space and skills whānau have to support that person, and breaks those whānau apart.

Alongside this Tamaki could clearly use some help with his maths, so here goes: $50,000 is a mere 0.000625 per cent of Auckland Council’s $8 billion budget, an amount that even ratepaying grandmothers would agree is infinitesimally small. The Destiny Church ‘empire’ however is worth over $20 million and seems to be ok with targeting vulnerable community members and taking their money as tithes and the like, with no reinvestment into anything that is remotely inclusive or diverse – oftentimes causing more mental health harm because of the pressures of giving to religious organisations under the guise of blessings from the organisation.

What would be a blessing for everyone is if Brian and his ilk would leave rainbow communities alone and focus on using some of the millions of tax-free dollars that he scams from people to do some actual good in the community, rather than continuously trying to manipulate and target vulnerable populations. It would also be great to see sensible and safe reporting on our communities rather than the platforming of the hateful rhetoric that they continuously espouse.

If there are any rainbow whānau who are involved with Destiny Church or other religious organisations we would like to remind you that there is a way out and you will be embraced and supported. If you would like to connect, we provide safe mental health services at OutLine Aotearoa so please get in contact with us, as we would love to help.

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