St-Matthew-in-the-City uses billboard to support gay marriage

By Paul Harper

St-Matthew-in-the-City's billboard supporting the bill to legalise same-sex marriages. Photo / Supplied
St-Matthew-in-the-City's billboard supporting the bill to legalise same-sex marriages. Photo / Supplied

An Auckland church has erected a billboard in support of a bill to legalise same-sex marriages.

The billboard, outside St Matthew-in-the-City, shows two model brides kissing atop a wedding cake, with the text "We don't care who's on top".

It comes as Labour MP Louisa Wall's bill on marriage equality is expected to pass its first reading in Parliament later today.

The progressive church has already thrown its support in behind the bill, and has countered claims by the bill's opponents that the law change will mean church ministers cannot refuse to perform same-sex marriages.

St-Matthew-in-the-City already performs civil unions.

"It should be of no surprise that St Matthew's with its long history of supporting the full inclusion of the LGBTQ community in both the church and society endorses the bill. Our question is why would any church not endorse two people making a loving commitment to each other?" Reverend Clay Nelson said.

"Through our billboard we are expressing our solidarity with the many Christians in many denominations who are calling on Members of Parliament to support Louisa Wall's bill."

Vicar Glynn Cardy said the church performs about 80 to 90 weddings per year.

"What is important is their willingness to commit themselves to each other, not their gender. It is the joy and risk of giving oneself to another in a bond of mutuality, fidelity, and love that is at the heart of the sacrament of marriage."

The central city church is known for its controversial billboards.

Last Christmas, it put up a billboard depicting Mary with a positive pregnancy test, and in 2009 a billboard before Christmas depicted Mary and Joseph in bed with the text: "Poor Joseph, God was a hard act to follow".

In April last year the church responded to Hell Pizza's "For a limited time. A bit like Jesus" Easter bun billboard with one reading "Hell no, we're not giving up pizza for Lent".

- Herald Online

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