Gay Jesus billboard 'not offensive'

AMY MAAS
Last updated 09:17 05/02/2013
Gay Jesus billboard
JOHN SELKIRK/Fairfax NZ

SIGN OF THE TIMES: The billboard outside St Matthew's church in central Auckland.

Relevant offers

National

Young sex offender in Auckland will strike again - psychologist Foxton Beach sand dunes could be cleared to open up the view Cooks Beach liquor store worker nails knife-wielding thief Company says body in bale not worker Humpback whale pod spotted off Opunake coast Magic visit to dentist for Hamilton kids Auckland woman sentenced to three years in jail for hitting friend with car Fiji-bound Air Force Hercules makes emergency landing after generator fault Aviation worker burned in Hastings Aerodrome hangar accident Mark Lyon loses appeal against sex and drug offences

A complaint about an Auckland church billboard questioning whether Jesus was gay has been dismissed on the grounds it wasn't offensive. 

The St Matthew-in-the-City billboard featured an image of baby Jesus in a manger with a rainbow coloured halo and the words: "It's Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out."

The complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority said the representation of Jesus was "akin to hate speech".

However, a decision released yesterday found the billboard's speculation about Jesus's sexual orientation did not breach advertising codes.

It was "prepared by a Christian church to promote debate within the Christian faith, as opposed to a deliberately offensive advertisement by an outside party for commercial gain, had been prepared with a due sense of social responsibility", the decision reads. 

St Matthew-in-the-City has frequently found itself in hot water with its Christmas and Easter billboards.

In 2011, the authority dismissed a similar complaint made about a billboard that featured the heads of two people in bed - Joseph and Mary - with the text reading: "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow."

Ad Feedback

- Auckland Now

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content