New Zealand Church Faces Backlash Over Billboard Supporting Same-Sex Marriage

There is a growing controversy coming out of a local church in New Zealand after they put up a billboard advertisement that supports same-sex marriage.

Reports coming out of New Zealand indicate that a church in Auckland is behind a billboard that supports same-sex marriage by depicting two female figures in bridal gowns on the top of a wedding cake with the caption: "We don't care who's on top."

Opponents of the proposed legislation insist that laws in New Zealand currently grant equality and that the issue was not about equality, but rather, the uniqueness of traditional heterosexual marriage.

"Equality doesn't mean sameness … marriage has always been about the relationship of a man and a woman because of their natural potential to have children," Bob McCoskrie, founder of Family First, said in a statement.

The church, St. Matthew-in-the-City, revealed that it produced the billboard advertisement recently in order to express their support for the Marriage Equality Bill that is currently being debated in the New Zealand Parliament.

The pastor of the church, Clay Nelson, said that his parish has always supported the rights of the LGBT community and does not understand why this particular advert is garnering such widespread attention.

"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," Nelson told The Sydney Morning Herald.

Even with the current push to legalize same-sex marriage in New Zealand, many residents and politicians have stated that homosexuals are already offered equality after a 2004 law was passed legalizing civil unions.

Opponents of the new legislation have previously stated that the traditional definition of marriage should be upheld as well.

Conservative party leader Colin Craig has continually stated that his party is the only party in New Zealand that has "a clear policy of supporting the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman."

Should New Zealand pass legislation legalizing same sex marriage they would join several other countries who currently recognize gay marriage including: the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and Denmark.

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