A Herald columnist who claimed a gay man's story of being denied access to his partner's body had nothing to do with discrimination has been exposed as a fundamentalist Christian evangelist. Sandra Paterson, a regular Herald columnist credited as a 'freelance journalist', wrote Saturday that the story of Nigel Pearson was "propaganda" to pass the Civil Union Bill. Paterson acknowledged that Pearson was told he was not family, but put this down to “some sort of breakdown in communication”. She claimed to have spoken extensively with authorities and was basing her conclusions on research. Media commentator Russell Brown has now revealed that Paterson is an evangelist connected to WHY Ministries International. Her services are available via WHY's website, where she is listed under the “Search For An Evangelist” tool, at which point you get access to a scorecard which lists how many souls she has saved in past week. This is the third time in six months that the Herald has concealed the fundamentalist origins of one of its anti-civil union opinion writers. Samuel Gregg was listed as being from the Acton Institute, when the Institute's full name is the “Acton Institute For The Study Of Religion And Liberty”. Neil Whitehead, a fundamentalist Baptist with no qualifications in the field of genetics, had a piece published on the gay gene. GayNZ.com asked the Herald whether any of the anti-civil union pieces published by the Herald had not been written by fundamentalist Christians. Editor Tim Murphy defended the actions of the newspaper by saying they don't ask for the religious beliefs of any of their writers, so it would be impossible for them to know. “We would not be able to answer a comparable query to yours from, say, the Destiny Church demanding to know if we have run a pro Civil Unions article from anyone who is NOT gay,” he said.
Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff
First published: Wednesday, 1st December 2004 - 12:00pm
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