The Anglican Bishops in Auckland believe a St Matthew-in-the-City billboard about gay marriage leaves a confusing message and does not effectively communicate what good relationships are about.
The billboard shows two bride dolls kissing on top of a wedding cake. The caption reads: "We don't care who's on top."
The Auckland Bishops say the Anglican Church cares about good relationships and so does care about ‘who is on top’ in a relationship.
Bishop Jim White says that oddly the billboard does not convey clearly what St Matthew’s claims are the key foundations of a relationship – mutuality, fidelity and love.
"The billboard is a confusing message trading on clichés that I don’t think St Matthew's actually stands for," he says.
Bishop Ross Bay is disappointed by the billboard but says he is not surprised because St Matthew’s stance on gay marriage is well known.
He says it adds nothing new to a good understanding of the issue. "This is a time for listening to one another and for careful conversations about a sensitive issue. Those conversations are getting under way in Parliament and wider society and in the church."
The Bishops say the billboard opinion is that of the St Matthew’s congregation and does not represent the Auckland Diocese or the wider Anglican Church.
The Bishops are encouraging the church and the wider community to have respectful conversations that lead to a greater understanding of the issue currently before Parliament.