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Greens support "Don't Hate, Celebrate" event

4 March 2005

Greens support "Don't Hate, Celebrate" event

The Greens are supporting an event tomorrow aimed at celebrating New Zealand's diversity and countering the mean-spirited, bigoted message of the Destiny Church.

An event entitled "Don't Hate, Celebrate" is being held in the Auckland University Quad tomorrow in response to Destiny's planned "Defend the Legacy" march.

"We support diversity and the right of all parents and children to be treated with respect by the state and fellow citizens, regardless of the type of family they live in," Green Social Services Spokesperson Sue Bradford said.

"Like many New Zealanders, I'm deeply concerned by some aspects of the message being spread by the Destiny Church and its political offshoots. The hostility and put-downs they direct at homosexual New Zealanders, prostitutes, and solo parents are a concerning development for this country's political climate.

"Destiny's rhetoric, and the behaviour at its demonstrations, suggest that it wishes to denigrate any families that don't meet an outdated Old Testament ideal that is irrelevant to a modern, 21st Century Aotearoa. 'Don't Hate, Celebrate' aims to counter Destiny's divisive message with an event of celebration and hope."

Ms Bradford said she fully acknowledged the right of Destiny's members to hold their beliefs.

"But I think it's dangerous to bring prejudice so squarely into political debate, and to evangelise the values of discrimination and hatred to New Zealanders.

"These values need to be countered with a celebration of humanity, in all its diversity.

"The Greens have been the only party to vote, as a party, for the three recent legislative measures which seek to protect discriminated-against and vulnerable minorities.

"We have proudly supported the Civil Union Bill, the Prostitution Reform Bill, and the Gender Identity Bill. We likewise support the message of this event: that all New Zealanders - no matter their sexuality, gender, race, religious belief, relationship or family status - should be treated with respect."

ENDS

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