Telling the stories of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, NZ and Polynesia

Gay man alleges discrimination

The Bishop of Auckland appears before the Human Rights Review Tribunal to answer a charge that he has discriminated against a gay man.

 • Stay with the Kirk, pleads Dr Williams

Taonga News  |  07 May 2013  |  5 Comments  

The Bishop of Auckland, Rt Rev Ross Bay, appeared before the Human Rights Review Tribunal today to answer a charge that he has discriminated against a gay man who wants to become a priest.

Eugene Sisneros, an Events Co-ordinator at St Matthew-in-the-City, was refused entry to the diocesan ordination training programme because he is living in a same-sex relationship – and is therefore not chaste in terms of the Anglican Church canons.

The bishop's position is that the Anglican canons do not permit anyone living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage to be accepted for training for the priesthood.

The bishop believes that the canons presently define chastity as being either married, in the traditional sense, or single and celibate.

However, the question of whether the definition of chastity should be broadened in canon law to include those living in committed same-sex relationships is before the Ma Whea Commission, which will report to next year’s General Synod.

If the General Synod decides such same-sex relationships can be blessed, it automatically follows that those in these relationships could be considered for the priesthood.

Mr Sisneros, who says he has been signalling his desire to begin ordination training since 2006, has completed a theology degree.

The hearing began in the Auckland District Court yesterday, with evidence from the plaintiff's witnesses.

Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson gave testimony on behalf of the defence today.

The hearing is expected to finish on Wednesday with a reserved decision.


warren knott

meanwhile, in the rest of sexually liberated NZ, 29,000 out of 61,000 children born in NZ in 2012 were born into a solo benefit. (29,000 kids born into poverty in 2012 in NZ!).

meanwhile, kids are told that love is based on sexual fulfillment, and if you haven't got it, it's ok to shop around. You don't know until you try! SO nz kids have shockingly high rates of STD's, abortions, pregnancies (oh and suicides - but lets not talk about that as a church should we?)

and children are being given money by their loving christian parents to go have fun at their parties, and after being given alcohol and drugs by the older generation, children are told that this is the time to exert their rights, while they are still under the drunk/druggy influence, and "chose their sexuality". Children are told they won't know if they are homosexual until they have tried! (drunken logic i still hear these days!).

If you take drugs and alcohol away from the teenage community, there will be no more teenage recruits for the homosexual love club.

And the same people who tell little johnny it's wrong to...

Paddy Noble

The church should be dragged through the mud and then it will realise that God does not exist in doctrines, rules and regulations designed by leaders of the church. I think Eugene has a valid case here. And no I will not report other peoples private sexual lives to the Bishops or church. This is not the inquisition. The church is full of hypocrites. Thats why I don't go any more.

Tim McKenzie

I'm with you, Chris. I would have thought that anyone - gay or straight - willing to drag the church through the mud by taking it to court automatically shows that s/he doesn't understand what ordination is. And that's quite apart from 1 Corinthians 6.

Chris Nimmo

Then please, Mr Noble, report the clergy living in sexual relationships outside of marriage to their bishops instead of insisting that two wrongs make a right.

Paddy Noble

There is something so wrong with this picture. If the canon says they cannot permit people entering into ordination into the priesthood because they are living in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Well that accounts for half of the Anglican Clergy in Aotearoa NZ with all 3 tikanga. I know of many clergy living in sexual relationships outside of marriage.

The other thing is that because its a same sex relationship double discriminates, I know of many Anglican clergy in same sex sexual relationships. Why then is this a specific case? Its because Eugene has made his relationship public and open and loving.

This definitely sounds like a discrimination case of some sorts. Kia kaha Eugene!