The General Synod of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia has indicated that a decision will not be made on the issue of marriage rights for gay couples until 2014.
Among the islands of Polynesia, the New Zealand Parliament is currently considering equalising access to marriage for gay and straight couples.
Two MPs have submitted bills to the Parliament this year which would allow gay couples to marry, a move which has notional support from the New Zealand Labour Party and Green Party.
Prime Minister John Key of the National Party has said he is ‘not personally opposed’ to allowing gay couples to marry, but added that it was not part of the government’s legislative programme.
The General Synod of the region’s Anglican Church is currently meeting in Nadi on the island of Fiji.
The Fiji Times reports New Zealand Archbishop David John Moxon saying: “We haven’t considered our final stand on gay marriage.
“We are having a commission of this church and we will listen to the Anglicans in the next two years on their views and what they think based on the Bible, from their prayers, their discussions of sexually orientation.
“We want to hear what the church thinks and we will be reporting back on our findings after this meeting and in two years time we will make any decisions on their reports and findings.”
Polynesia’s Archbishop Winston Halapua said: “We haven’t arrived at what we need to do at this point because a Bible study has been tasked to look at what the word of God says.
“Fellowship and prayer groups are encouraged to pray for the church on this. We also have some information on hand for assistance in our final decision.”
In 2011, a Research New Zealand poll suggested 60 percent back equal marriage rights and 34 percent oppose. The most support was found among 18 to 34 year old, 79 percent of whom backed the move.
In May 2012, One News Colmar Brunton conducted a poll in which 63 percent of New Zealanders supported marriage equality and 31 percent opposed.