'Gay baby Jesus' artwork auctioned

SIOBHAN DOWNES
Last updated 16:43 04/04/2013

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A controversial Auckland church billboard artwork depicting a 'gay baby Jesus' has been put up for sale on Trade Me.

The annual St Matthew in the City Christmas billboard made international news last year with its image of baby Jesus sporting a rainbow halo, captioned with the suggestive statement: "It's Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out."

The starting price for the 2.1 metre by 3 metre vinyl skin of the billboard was $300.

The seller wrote on the auction page, "in God's eyes we are all equal, so whether you're gay, Christian or fanatical about something or other, you are all welcome to join in this auction, which is supported by each and all at St Matthew In The City".

At the time of the billboard's erection, the Advertising Standards Authority received a complaint saying the depiction of Jesus was "akin to hate speech".

The authority dismissed the complaint.

One Trade Me member already had some idea about what they might do if they were to bid on the artwork, asking if it was possible to "repaint it and make him a straight baby Jesus?"

The seller responded "of course Jesus, that would be cool with us".

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