Members of Regina’s LGTBQ2S+ community gathered in front of Regina Victory Church Sunday, a week after its pastor delivered a rather controversial sermon.
During a sermon titled “Raising Godly Children”, Pastor Terry Murphy spoke about a statistic showing nearly 16 percent of Gen Z respondents identify as LGBT. He went on to say that normalizing being gay is like normalizing pedophilia.
Event organizer Nathan Labatt says he wanted to make sure everyone who was upset by the speech had their voice heard.
“I saw there was a need for people who weren’t able to share their voice or were feeling a little bit shy to do so,” said Labatt. “It was really important for us to stand strong and do this, and just spread a little bit of love and kindness, it’s the name of the event, it’s something we want to make sure we push today.”
Labatt says Murphy’s comments show the issues facing the LGTB community, adding it’s more out front than people may think.
“A lot of people think it doesn’t happen at home; you see a lot of this stuff coming from elsewhere. This was a prime example of why we’re still having these pride events, and still doing this,” said Labatt. “I think it’s wildly important that people are aware that there’s definitely a need to be out here, and be visible, and be proud of who we are.”
Labatt says he doesn’t have any ill will against Murphy or his congregation, he’s just hoping they are willing to engage in some meaningful conversations.
Murphy posted a video apologizing for his remarks on Saturday night, just hours before the rally was set to take place.
*Video credit: Regina Victory Church on Facebook*
Labatt says the apology is a step in the right direction, but it doesn’t erase everything the pastor has said.
“It’s very difficult for me to stand behind and accept the apology and how it was put out,” said Labatt. “He has very adamant over the last week that he supports his message, I appreciate that he’s willing to step out of his comfort zone, most likely, to issue an apology. It still was disappointing for me personally.”
The rally comes after a LTBQ2S+ advocate filed a human rights complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. The complaint has over 840 co-plaintiffs.