A 2006 service in a liberal Anglican church – Auckland's St Matthew's in the City – celebrates the 20th anniversary of gay law reform.
The position of homosexuals in churches has been contentious. Conservative Christians draw on Old Testament passages condemning homosexuality as proof that it is a sin. Some argue that homosexuality is a chosen behaviour and gay men and lesbians should seek God's guidance to become heterosexual. Others believe that sexuality is biologically determined, but that gay men and lesbians should remain celibate.
Liberal Christians accept homosexuals as part of 'God's creation'. They point to New Testament passages (the foundation of Christianity) which accept people for who they are. Within this view, same-sex relationships are recognised, and gay men and lesbians are able to hold church leadership positions. The two perspectives have polarised some mainstream churches, with debates discussing homosexuality closed off to prevent schisms.
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