9 May 2013

Gay man takes comfort from Church's admission

9:48 pm on 9 May 2013

A gay Auckland man who has taken his fight to become an Anglican priest to the Human Rights Tribunal says he takes comfort from the Church's admission that it discriminates.

The tribunal has this week been considering whether Geno Sisneros was discriminated against when his application to train as a priest was turned down.

Mr Sisneros said that while completing theological studies at university, he was never told he would not be able to train as a priest and later felt sidelined.

The Anglican Church will only accept priests who are married to someone of the opposite sex, or who are celibate.

Its lawyers told the hearing that being Anglican is not enough to become a priest - people need to uphold the same beliefs as the Church as well.

In his closing submissions, Paul Rishworth, the lawyer for the Auckland bishop, said the Church is not applying a rule about being gay, but a rule about being chaste outside marriage.

Bishop Ross Bay told the tribunal earlier this week that the Church discriminates against gay and lesbian people.

Outside court on Thursday, Geno Sisneros says he took comfort in hearing that - and is grateful the tribunal has taken the time to hear his complaint.

The tribunal is considering its decision.