Members of the LGBT community in New Zealand have denounced a US-based Christian website for blaming the Christchurch earthquake on vengeance from God because of the “amoral” behaviour of gays and lesbians.

The quake, which left scores dead, took place on the day ‘Gay Ski Week’ was to begin.

The ChristchurchQuake.net website, hosted in Utah, lists a number of the major incidents that have taken place as a result of the devastating quake and blames them on gay people.

One page describes the fire pouring out of the Pike River Mine ventilation shaft that it says has left 29 men dead and 13 children orphaned.

It says this was vengeance for lesbian paedophiles: “The fire on the left is pouring out of the Pike River Mine ventilation shaft. The explosion orphaned 23 children, and killed 29 men. It happened in the heartland of NZ’s Labour Party, in the West Coast Mining area of the South Island. Why? Because the wicked, wicked women, who headed NZ’s Labour Party, conspired to orphan a little refugee girl – a little girl those lesbian paedophiles wanted to molest. The punishment was measure for measure – they tried to make an orphan of a little girl, so a Divine curse made orphans of 23 children in Labour’s heartland.

“The men who died were not guilty of the conspiracy to murder a child. But they could see what was going on, what had happened to the Labour Party. Anyone could see it – the squadron of butch women, with deep voices, dressing like men, walking like men, talking like men, taking lesbian lovers, who had taken over NZ’s Labour Party.”

The website goes on to say: “The miners were not guilty of child murder – but the whole of New Zealand was guily of turning a blind eye to the evil, to the perversion that was governing the country. A Labour Party was meant to be about protecting hardworking families. It is not meant to be a ‘fag and hag’ club for perverts, who want to exploit the rest of the population, and to molest and prey upon their children.

“Like it or not, Pike River was God’s answer — the whole country was judged guilty, and judgement began in the heartland of the party that let itself be taken over by perverts, paedophiles and murderers.”

The website warns Kiwis that they should not “tempt fate and risk another quake.” It said: “The morning of the Christchurch earthquake was the opening of ‘Gay Ski Week’. The highlight of the week was a party featuring two of NZ’s ugliest and butchest lesbians as the main event in Queenstown. Squadrons of ‘imports’ were to have been brought in for the week — from Sydney’s now booming gay and lesbian area around Oxford St, between the CBD and Kings Cross.”

Associate Professor of History at Massey University, Peter Lineham told GayNZ: “This sort of homophobic attitude generally comes from religious people who are subscribing to a Mid-Western USA frame of thought which is fearful of the world. It has its roots in a fear of what they see as a series of evils which are destroying what seems to them to have once been a comfortable 19th century kind of world. They see gays and lesbians as a threat to family life and fear lesbians in particular, as for them all submissiveness to a male authority figure has gone.”

Jay Bennie, editor of GayNZ said: “I think it’s despicable, I think it’s appallingly insensitive, not only to gays and lesbians but to the suggestion that the people of Christchurch, by embracing gays and lesbians to certain degrees in their society, have brought this upon themselves.

“It’s cruel and vindictive in the city’s hour of need. We are pretty disgusted about it and find it hard to understand how humane people could do this sort of thing,” he said.

“I would ask them to consider the lives of people in Christchurch and not use tragedy as a further opportunity to stir up hatred against gay and lesbian people.”

The website is hosted by Utah-based company Bluehost.com, who can be contacted at abuse@bluehost.com.

In 2007, the Right Rev Graham Dow, the Bishop of Carlisle, blamed the floods that devastated large parts of the UK on gay equality measures such as civil partnerships.