A church pastor in New Zealand has argued “gays are going to hell, and they can only avoid eternal damnation by being healed of their homosexuality”.

Bill Anderson, who lives in small town Paihia, has been condemned for his comments, New Zealand’s 3News reports.

The pastor promotes gay-to-straight conversion therapy.

Mr Anderson has said he isn’t gay himself, and claims to not know any gay people. The pastor added: “Homosexuality and lesbianism is not normal”.

Commenting on modern society, he said: “You can’t even go to a movie without getting slammed; even Big Ears has turned out to be a homosexual”.

In response to being asked whether you can be a gay Christian, the pastor responded with a resounding, “No!” arguing gay people were “riddled with diseases” and that they needed to be “dealt with”.

When asked why other churches accept gay people, Mr Anderson simply replied with “I do not know”.

Trevor Easton, leader of Outline, an LGBT support group denounced Mr Anderson’s approval of gay-to-straight conversion therapy. He said: “They fear people they don’t understand, or perhaps they fear their own possible traits”.