The newly elected Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand says that it is too early to say what official stance his church will have on same-sex marriage – but he personally believes that governments have the right to decide whether same-sex couples should be allowed to enter into civil marriages.
Taranaki Bishop Philip Richardson was elected to the role of Archbishop of New Zeakand on Saturday and will jointly head the church with Archbishop Brown Turei, who heads the Maori arm of the church, and Archbishop Winston Halapua – the Bishop of Polynesia.
Radio NZ reports that Richardson will be working on an official stance for the church with his colleagues and expects to have one ready to be released in 2014.
It is likely that same-sex marriage will have already been legalized in New Zealand by then, with a bill to legalize same-sex marriage already passing its second reading in the New Zealand Parliament.
A final vote on the bill is expected in the next few weeks, and same-sex couples could be marrying in New Zealand by August.