Simon Collins

Simon Collins is the Herald’s social issues reporter.

Church wedding out for gay law advocate

Marriage Amendment Bill author Louisa Wall was emotional in Parliament as it was passed into law last week. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Marriage Amendment Bill author Louisa Wall was emotional in Parliament as it was passed into law last week. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Gay marriage law author Louisa Wall won't be able to marry her same-sex partner in her own Ratana Church.

The minister of the Manurewa Ratana church which she attends, Apotoro Rehita (Apostle) Kimiora Pene, said same-sex marriage was "not part of our structure of beliefs".

"Louisa Wall is one of our parishioners, and her manager is also one of our parishioners and he's in a gay relationship too, so it's a bit awkward for me," Mr Pene said.

"We invite everyone into the church for prayers, but in terms of marriage they have to go to a civil union until our church decides to change our stance on that, which I don't think is going to change."

The Ratana faith is part of Ms Wall's family. Her father's cousin, Rev Tiger Wall, 84, a Taupo-based Ratana apostle, said he hadn't followed the debate but was "dead against it".

Ms Wall said she did not attend Mr Pene's church every Sunday. "I attend the church when I can," she said.

She and partner Prue Kapua had had a civil union on a marae and did not plan to get married, but if they did it would be on a marae. "I wouldn't choose to get married in a church," she said. "All along, this has been about preserving freedom of religion."

- NZ Herald

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