A New Zealand MP’s response to a church leader’s homophobic rant has been named Quote of the Year.
Auckland church leader Brian Tamaki shocked many with an outburst last month linking gay sex to earthquakes – one day before a fatal earthquake struck the country, killing two people.
In a sermon, Tamaki claimed: “The earth can speak. Leviticus says that the Earth convulses under the weight of [homosexuality]. It spews itself up after a while – that’s natural disasters. Because nature was never created to carry the bondage of our iniquity.”
Responding to the assertion that gay sex causes earthquakes in an interview, Green MP Denise Roche quipped: “Sex just can’t be that good”.
Her perfect comeback has been named Quote of the Year by New Zealand’s Massey University this month, after a public vote.
Massey speech writing lecturer, Dr Heather Kavan said that it was the humour of the off-the-cuff response that struck a chord with New Zealanders.
Dr Kavan explained: “I think a lot of people vote for the quotes that make them smile. Denise Roche’s statement was quick-witted and funny. She conveyed her point without denigrating Tamaki, in a situation that left others struggling for words.”
An anti-LGBT protest from Tamaki’s church outside Parliament previously led transgender MP Georgina Beyer to quip, “Oh my God, I feel like I’m standing in a Nuremberg rally!”
Dr Kavan said: “The irony is that in 2003 Tamaki prophesied that Destiny Church would be ruling New Zealand in five years. Here we are 13 years later, and, far from leading Parliament, the church is a catalyst for MP’s best one-liners.”