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Tamaki opposition not about anti-gay views

Thu 7 Jul 2011 In: New Zealand Daily News

Tamaki says her detractors think she is "too glamorous" for the role. A lesbian Maori Women's Welfare League member says a strong push against Destiny Church co-founder Hannah Tamaki running for president is about preventing the long-running organisation from becoming sectarian, not the church's anti-gay stance. Tamaki has been removed from voting papers after complaints that the three Destiny branches in the League are unconstitutional. The New Zealand Herald says its sources suspect some lesbians in the league are offended by Destiny's view on homosexuality. However Waiatarau branch member Prue Kapua, a lawyer who is civil unioned with MP Louisa Wall, says she did not make a personal complaint about Tamaki and the Auckland-based branch's concerns are not about the church's views. She says the entire branch challenged the nomination on the basis that Tamaki is a sectarian leader and cannot, in that position, lead a non-sectarian organisation. Kapua says the three branches Waiatarau have challenged all self-identify as Destiny branches, "which is also not in accordance with the Constitution and its overriding kaupapa that it is non-sectarian and non-party political," she says. "Destiny Church's position on homosexuality has not been considered as part of this process and is irrelevant in terms of the challenge." Tamaki has responded on Facebook by saying her detractors think she is "too glamorous" to lead the League. She is reported to be considering legal action. Kapua says the real concern is for the League to maintain its independence as an organisation by being non-sectarian and non-party political, which runs the risk of being compromised by a sect leader being national president. "As the media reports over the last week or two have shown there is no doubt that Mrs Tamaki is inextricably linked to Destiny Church and that is how she is perceived and identified. For her to lead the organisation means that it will by her association be perceived as sectarian. That will be entirely contrary to how the League has operated for the last 60 years." Kapua says she has no idea how many lesbians are in the Maori Women's Welfare League, but says the organisation supported the Homosexual Law Reform Bill at its AGM at the time.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 7th July 2011 - 10:38am

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