Jesus was gay according to a Christmas billboard at a New Zealand Anglican church.
The Christmas billboard at St Matthew-in-the-City in Auckland is frequently controversial – previously it has joked about Joseph’s sexual prowess and shown the Virgin Mary with a pregnancy test.
This year it depicts Jesus in his manger with a rainbow halo and the words: ‘It’s Christmas. Time for Jesus to come out.’
St Matthew’s Reverend Clay Nelson said: ‘Some scholars have tried to make the case that he might have been gay. But it is all conjecture. Maybe gay, maybe not. Does it matter?’
While his colleague at the church, Reverend Glynn Cardy implied Jesus would have backed same-sex marriage, which is currently being debated in New Zealand.
He said: ‘There is almost nothing in the record of his teachings about sexuality while there is plenty about the perils of being rich. Certainly he always supported the marginalized in society.’
And he wanted to raise the question of sexuality among the faithful.
‘Would it make a difference if he was gay? Would that change the picture for you? Would it mean what we revere about him changes?’
Last year’s Virgin Mary pregnancy test billboard spread around the world, reaching 21 million people on Facebook. But it was condemned as ‘blasphemous’ by some Catholics and vandalized.