AUCKLAND UNITARIAN CHURCH I do ...
MOST of Auckland’s churches say a resounding no to same-sex marriage but one Ponsonby church is taking a stand and saying ‘‘I do’’.
Newly appointed Auckland Unitarian Church minister Rev Matt Tittle says he is dismayed to see so many churches closing their doors to gay couples.
The Ponsonby church was formally founded in 1898 to provide a space for people whose beliefs failed to fit orthodox Christianity.
The Unitarians are historically progressive and happily perform same-sex marriages, ordain gay clergy and welcome all of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community to their congregations around the world.
‘‘In most faiths these communities are not given a full spiritual home. All of these congregations will welcome them as members but they’re not going to give them all of the rights of passage and privileges that come with that,’’ Dr Tittle says.
‘‘We recognise everyone – there are not some who are saved and those who are damned to hell.’’
Dr Tittle arrived in Auckland from the United States three months ago having worked as a minister there for more than 10 years.
The Unitarian Church will not hire clergy who refuse to perform same-sex marriages, he says.
He has officiated at a number of same-sex weddings in the US, both those legally recognised by the state and those which were not.
As a member of the clergy he is