(Note the following statement was posted prior to the July 12 discovery that due to a mistake in the vote count, Resolution AO51 actually passed by a 2/3rds majority in all three houses: Bishops, Clergy, Lay.)
Greetings to you all:
On the evening of July 11, 2016 the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada did not garner the votes necessary to change the Marriage Canon to allow for same-sex couples to be married within the Church. The vote was very, very close, failing by only one vote in the order of clergy while passing in both the order of bishops and the order of laity.
While this is deeply disappointing to me and to many others within the Church, I and others am resolute in our desire to find a way forward in achieving equity for all couples seeking the solemnization of their marriages in the Church while at the same time providing for those whose consciences prevent them from participating in marriage or blessing liturgies for same-sex couples. This was the intention of the resolution to change the Marriage Canon; and it remains my intention.
I’m very sorry for the pain this decision has caused and will cause both to members of the LBGTQ community and to those of us who count ourselves as their family members and friends. If it is any comfort at all, please know that the majority of those of us at General Synod very much wanted the resolution to pass.
What I intend to do is the following:
Together with our delegates to Synod, I will consult with a broader circle in our diocese—with our Regional Archdeacons and the Executive Archdeacon, with our Regional Deans, with the Dean of our Diocese (who is also a delegate) and with our Chancellor—about what we discern God is calling us to do going forward in our diocese. At the same time, I will be in touch with our own Archbishop as we do our discernment work.
I am personally committed to supporting couples who desire to make baptismally-grounded, community-supported, lifelong, monogamous commitments to one other within the context of the Church. After listening to some of the discussion at General Synod 2016, I need to add my equal commitment to advocate for diverse ways of interpreting Holy Scripture as it informs the Church’s actions in such matters.
Take heart. This is not over. We have continuing discernment work to do together.
Even as many of us grieve this decision and its consequences, I invite us all to pray for the LGBTQ people of our Church, to pray for those with whom we agree and with whom we disagree on this issue, and to pray for the continued companionship of the Holy Spirit in all our discussions and actions.
IX New Westminster