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NZ rights tribunal

17 May 2013

THE New Zealand Human Rights Tribunal has reserved its decision in a case alleging that the Bishop of Auckland, the Rt Revd Ross Bay, discriminated against a gay man who was in a same-sex relationship by refusing to admit him to the diocesan ministry-discernment process.

The case against Bishop Bay was brought by the Gay and Lesbian Clergy Anti-Discrimination Society, on behalf of Eugene Sisneros, an events co-ordinator for the Auckland parish of St Matthew in the City. Mr Sisneros, a 38-year-old American, holds New Zealand residency.

Press reports say that Mr Sisneros's lawyer argued in the tribunal hearing last week that the Bishop's refusal breached a section of the Human Rights Act.

The Bishop of Taranaki, the Rt Revd Philip Richardson, told the tribunal that the canons of the Anglican Church in New Zealand could not be interpreted to allow someone in a same-sex relationship to be ordained. The Church was currently engaged in processes that might lead to a change in these, he said.

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