20-YEAR-OLD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO HOMOPHOBIC ATTACK ON NEW ZEALAND’S ‘BIG GAY PINK’ CHURCH

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7/1/22

A 20-year-old man has pleaded guilty to an anti-semitic and homophobic attack on New Zealand’s famous queer ‘Pink’ church. Gloria of Greymouth, a deconsecrated church building (formerly the St Andrews Anglican church) built in 1939, was bought by poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones. In 2021, the artist moved into the unused church building, located in Blaketown, Greymouth on New Zealand’s West Coast, painted it pink and transformed it into a performing arts venue. Duckor-Jones has described his vision for Gloria of Greymouth, as a “big gay pink church” filled with 40-50 “papier mache giant” parishoners. Gloria of Greymouth, according to Duckor-Jones is “a celebration of queer silliness & serious camp” and “a temple of non-denominational queer celebration”. On June 2, Duckor-Jones woke up to find that the church was vandalised with homophobic and anti-semitic graffiti and the rainbow flag was lying on the ground burnt. “I am glad that the project is so loved. Especially by folks here in Greymouth. So it was a great disappointment to find that she had been attacked early last Friday morning as I slept inside,” wrote Duckor-Jones, who was raised in a Jewish household. “All along her light pink sides were homophobic & antisemitic signs & words & messages along with christian symbols & scripture & a burned rainbow flag out the front,” said Duckor-Jones. The police charged a 20-year-old and a 21-year old for vandalising the church with graffiti. Two other accused are yet to be charged.

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