LGBTQ community rallies outside Victory Church in Regina

·3 min read
Attendees were given a performance from the drag queen Katy Hairy at Sunday's rally outside Victory Church. (Bryan Eneas/CBC - image credit)
Attendees were given a performance from the drag queen Katy Hairy at Sunday's rally outside Victory Church. (Bryan Eneas/CBC - image credit)

Members of the LGBTQ community hosted a rally outside of Victory Church in Regina to express love and support in the wake of a controversial sermon delivered last week.

Organizers say the rally was hosted, in part, to show support for younger members of the LGBTQ community, particularly those who may be caught in situations where the religious views of others prevented them from expressing themselves.

"Over the past week our community was discriminated against and today's just to really bring everybody together," said organizer Terry Van Mackelberg, who is also the drag queen Flo Mingo.

"We've been fighting, time after time, for our rights and acceptance. Today is just really a demonstration that we belong and that we matter."

A video apology was released on the church's Facebook page over the weekend.

"I want to say I'm very sorry for all the stress this has caused the LGBTQ community. This was never my intention," Terry Murphy, the pastor who delivered the controversial sermon, said in the video.

"We wish nothing but good upon the members of your community, and pray that your lives would flourish."

Van Mackelberg filed a human rights commission complaint against Victory Church after last week's sermon and said nearly 850 had signed on as co-plaintiffs.

Terry Van Mackelberg, also known as Flo Mingo, danced in front of Victory Church on Sunday during a rally to show support for the LGBTQ community in Regina.
Terry Van Mackelberg, also known as Flo Mingo, danced in front of Victory Church on Sunday during a rally to show support for the LGBTQ community in Regina.(Bryan Eneas/CBC)

The rally was attended by Sask. NDP's critic for human rights Meara Conway, who was one of a handful of speakers at the event.

Conway said the statements the pastor made in his sermon became a human rights issue when he included gender and sexual orientation issues. The MLA for Regina-Elphinstone said the pastor's words had no place in Regina.

"Pastor Murphy's words, they have consequences," she said. "He said he's got the freedom to say whatever he wants, but it's not that simple."

Meara Conway, the Saskatchewan NDP's critic for human rights, was in attendance at Sunday's rally.
Meara Conway, the Saskatchewan NDP's critic for human rights, was in attendance at Sunday's rally.(Bryan Eneas/CBC)

What Conway said she found particularly concerning about Murphy's sermon was how it targeted youth within the LGBTQ community.

Andie Bourque, treasurer for Queen City Pride, said they grew up in a religious household and hearing the pastor's message triggered memories of when they were growing up.

Bourque said it took 30 years to fully accept who they were and they didn't want the youth inside the Victory Church to have to experience the same thing.

"Knowing that the kids and the youth in that building are hearing that message, week after week, that maybe identify within our community, it is really important for them to see that there is another side," Bourque said.

"There is an acceptance here in Regina for them."

Rally attendees participated in a variety of forms, including this solo dance near the Victory Church sign.
Rally attendees participated in a variety of forms, including this solo dance near the Victory Church sign.(Bryan Eneas/CBC)