Man pleads guilty to homophobic attack on New Zealand queer church


new zealand pink church gloria defaced vandals graffiti new zealand
Images: courtesy of Sam Ducker-Jones/Instagram

A man has pleaded guilty to an anti-Semitic and homophobic attack on a queer church on New Zealand’s West Coast.

Queer poet and artist Sam Duckor-Jones created the pink church- Gloria- as a public artwork.

On June 2, vandals scrawled homophobic and anti-Semitic messages on the church.

Additionally, one of the messages included a Biblical reference to homosexuals being put to death.

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Duckor-Jones began the art project in 2020, after buying the deconsecrated church.

“It’s a glowing house of queer worship, where gays across the nation can come and bask in the spirit of campness and glitter and be silly,” the artist explained.

 

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Queer church vandalism, ‘a hate crime’

According to Stuff, Dillan Jay Pattinson, 20, pleaded guilty to one charge of intentional damage in the Greymouth District Court.

The police summary of facts said Pattinson was one of four men who allegedly planned the attack on the queer church for weeks.

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The men allegedly dressed in black clothing, including black hoodies and cloth masks, and later went to the property with red spray paint and a black permanent marker at 11pm.

The police summary stated that they believed it was a hate crime.

Furthermore, the summary asked the court to take the motive into account when sentencing.

Judge Jane Farish said she wanted Pattinson to have a restorative justice conference with Duckor-Jones.

Restorative justice conferences are face-to-face meetings between the victim and offender.

The meetings allow victims to tell offenders how the crime affected them and offenders can take personal responsibility for their actions.

Following court, Duckor-Jones said they would be open to the restorative justice process.

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