Church's 'gay-dar' billboard stirs debate

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The latest billboard at St Matthew's in the City.
SIGN OF THE TIMES: The latest billboard at St Matthew's in the City.

An Auckland church known for stirring debate hopes its latest billboard will highlight discrimination in the Anglican Church against members of the gay and lesbian community.

St Matthew's in the City's latest billboard depicts a "gay-dar" showing a spectrum from gay to straight with a cross acting as a meter.

An explanatory caption on the board states: "As used by the Anglican Church to assess potential priests."

Currently New Zealand Anglican bishops refuse to consider any candidate for ordination who is gay or lesbian and in a committed relationship.

The billboard aims to draw attention to St Matthew's online petition asking the Anglican Church to end this practice.

Bishop Philip Richardson of Taranaki says until the Anglican Church can agree whether homosexuality is a consequence of "willful human sinfulness" or an "expression of God-given diversity" sexual orientation will continue to be a deciding factor in determining potential priests.

But Priest Associate of St Matthew's the Reverend Clay Nelson says he is amazed that with all the information and science available in this modern age that the church can still argue sexual orientation is a matter of wilfulness.

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