NZ human rights tribunal to review Anglican ban on gay clergy: The Church of England Newspaper, May 12, 2013 p 6 May 14, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Auckland, Eugene Sisneros, Human Rights Review Tribunal, Ross Bay
And unsuccessful aspirant for holy orders has filed a complaint with the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal accusing the Bishop of Auckland of discrimination against homosexuals. Eugene Sisneros, an employee of St Matthew in the City in Auckland, has alleged that Bishop Ross Bay violated the country’s Human Rights laws by refusing to allow him to begin the ordination process because he is in a same-sex partnership.
In his Statement of Claim, plaintiff said he “felt totally humiliated that I had spent six years of my life in study, for a process that I was not permitted to enter because I was a gay man and in a relationship” noting: “My humiliation and disappointment continue to this day.”
New Zealand’s Human Rights Act 1993 forbids discrimination in employment on the grounds of sexual orientation. However Part 2 Section 28 of the Act permits“exceptions for purposes of religion” and allows “different treatment based on religious or ethical belief” by churches in the employment of clergy.
Bishop Bay told One News on 5 May 2013 the man had been turned away from the ordination process
“by reason of the defendant not being chaste in terms of canons of the Anglican Church.” The New Zealand church follows the guidelines reiterated by Lambeth 1998 resolution 1.10 and understands the chaste relationship to be marriage between a man and a woman or celibacy in singleness.
In a comment posted on twitter New Zealand Anglican blogger the Rev Peter Carrell argued were the plaintiff successful in his lawsuit he had overcome the problem that “there is no mechanism to force a Bishop to ordain” someone “if the bishop does not want to do that” under the church’s canons.
Decisions reached by human rights review tribunal can be appealed to higher tribunals, but their decisions are legally enforceable.