Anglican Church of Canada’s Approval of Same Sex Marriage Fails

ChurchLeaders | 7/15/2019 | Staff
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The Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) experienced a shock at its General Synod meeting on Friday night. Despite majority approval from laity and clergy, a measure that would effectively approve of same-sex marriage within the denomination failed to pass.

“There’s a lot of grief right now among the delegates,” church communication director Meghan Kilty told CBC news.

Rules - ACC - Measures - Majority - Groups

According to the rules of the ACC, new measures must be approved by a two-thirds majority from three groups of delegates to the synod: laity, clergy, and bishops. While the laity and clergy were largely for the new measure which would have removed language from its canon referring to marriage as being between a man and woman, the bishops did not reach a two-thirds vote in favor of the change. The vote went as follows: Laity 80.9 percent “yes”; clergy 73.2 percent “yes”; bishops 62.2 percent “yes”.

This is not the first time the denomination has voted on the proposed change, either. In 2016, delegates voted to pass the change—including the majority of bishops at the time. However, the ACC’s rules also stipulate a measure must be voted on twice before it is formally recognized by the denomination. Hence, the vote commenced this year in addition to the 2016 vote.

ACC - Churches - Convictions - Marriage - Others

Since 2016, many ACC churches have gone by their own convictions and performed same-sex marriage, while others have refrained from doing so. The denomination even includes clergy that are in a same-sex marriage.

While the measure to expand the definition of marriage did not pass, a document called A Word to the Church was adopted. This document officially allows diocese within the ACC to perform same-sex weddings. The Bishop of Ottawa, the Rt. Rev. John Chapman, calls the adoption of the document “no small achievement”, although he expresses his dismay that the proposal to...
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