Mark and Allen are joined in a civil union at the inner-Auckland Anglican church of St Matthew's in the City in 2005. Until the 1970s gay Christians were usually condemned or isolated. In 1972 a study group for gay Christians began meeting at St Matthew's in the City, probably the first such group in the country. In 1980 they formed the Auckland Community Church (ACC), now the Auckland Rainbow Community Church, to represent Christians of all denominations, and all sexual and gender orientations. The Anglican Church does not permit its clergy to perform civil unions in their official role. They can only do so if they are also registered as civil celebrants, and then in a private capacity.
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