|We asked two of our Pasifika community members to respond to Colin Craig's homophobic rally in South Auckland, and his claim ALL Pasifika people “reject” marriage equality. Read: Conservatives seek anti-gay Pasifika vote
Pasifika trans woman and advocate Phylesha Brown-Acton:
Religion and politics do not mix!
Phylesha Brown-Acton (Pic: Gareth Watkins/PrideNZ.com) Religious law should never be seen to be interfering with or persuading state law and Colin Craig in my opinion is a radical evangelist who persuades others to buy into his Christian values and beliefs. It's another form of brainwashing and influencing of Pacific peoples to think the way he, Mr Craig thinks, all for his own and his party political gain or agenda - hence why he invests his own riches to sell his rhetoric and targets smaller communities for their buy in.
We see in Uganda and in Russia how American evangelists such as Scott Lively, who have set up parishes in these countries and heavily influenced country leaders, peoples and states to hate - and create laws that criminalise LGBTQI peoples, it is the same level of influence Colin Craig and his party continue to purge onto Pacific peoples.
I hope his newly announced Pacific party members understand that genealogy is the authenticating virtue of how and where we belong in our Pasefika heritages. All discussions about who I am must start from genealogy (not who I sleep with or what sinful act I or others are supposedly committing). From genealogy, vā relationships (relational spaces embodied in covenants and are sacred to Gods and divinities) are defined.
I would like to add as a keynote speaker at the Le Va G.P.S 2.0 Summit where I presented on a topic titled "Strengthening Pasefika Rainbow Solutions" to over 300 Pacific Health Professionals, when I asked the questions who supported Pasefika LGBTQI, 90 per cent of the room raised their hands in support of and nor did many oppose same sex marriage, which was another question. It is important for Colin Craig and his party to understand that there are a large number of Pacific peoples who will not buy into his hate, religious rhetoric and candy flossed policies and a number of Pacific peoples that will stand up against they're anti-gay or anti-LGBTQI slurs/beliefs, I for one will not sit back and tolerate any form of hatred or political bullying.
I encourage all Pacific peoples to not vote based on loyalty or heart but to do their homework and vote for people and parties that are going to advocate to make a change for them and their communities, a vote should never be based on religious value or beliefs as the Church is not the Government that runs this country.
Community health worker Jonathan Selu, who ran the group Tagata Pasifika for Marriage Equality:
Jonathan Selu Craig is focusing on stereotypes rather than actually being aware of the issues that affect Pacific communities. Whilst individuals are entitled to their own opinions and values, generalizations like this are not beneficial.
In fact, as I have said before, there are many Pacific people that are either ambivalent or supportive of rainbow communities. Furthermore, politics are about more than just whether a party or candidate is pro rainbow or not, and Pacific people are not blind to that fact.
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