Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blessing of Same Sex Motion Defeated

Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 -- The General Synod of the Anglican Church of
Canada has narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses
to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.

Lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor of the motion and clergy voted 63 to
53 in favor But the House of Bishops voted 21-19 against it. As a result the
motion was defeated, since it required approval by each of the three orders
to pass.

The motion read:

"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any
diocesan synod,

1. with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
2. in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the
will of the parish,

to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions."

The results aren't surprising and will probably disappoint most people. People opposed to same sex blessings will be unhappy that the majority of people were in fact in favour and the issue isn't going to go away. People in favour of the motion will be disappointed that it failed to go through. On the other hand, while this puts the issue off for another three years it seems it will eventually pass.

There are some interesting comments over at Father Jake's site interpreting the fact that the clergy and laity were in favour but the bishops weren't. The Anglican Church in Canada's polity gives every active bishop a vote but clergy and lay delegates are chosen proportionally to represent their diocese. So the larger, urban, more liberal dioceses get more lay and clergy delegates but the same episcopal representation as the smaller rural and northern dioceses which tend to be more conservative on this issue.

On a happier note we had our Sunday School picnic this morning after an outdoor Eucharist. It was a blast until our Sunday School superintendent yelled out to all the kids with water balloons in their hands, 'let's baptize the minister!' :-) I got drenched! Good thing it was a warm day. We are blessed with some really committed teachers and a wonderful group of kids. They did the readings, prayers, music and helped with the sermon. Love it!


aaronorear said...

I have a strong anti-heat stance, so if your Sunday School wants to go on a mission trip to baptize in Oakville, they're welcome!

It has been interesting to read blogs both in support and in opposition to blessing same-sex you say, nobody is happy. Everyone wants to claim defeat!

As a Yankee, I see the HoB as comparable to the U.S. Senate...small states get the same representation as large and it tends to be more cautious and conservative. See also Lords. While I'd have liked to see this motion pass, I think it's overall good that the smaller dioceses have some venue in which they carry weight.

Kevin said...

Have you been reading the comments on Father Jake's blog? Many folks are calling the bishop's "cowardly" for voting for the "Core doctrine or creedal" motion, but against ssb.


Erin said...

I have. In fact I just left a comment over there.

I don't think they were cowardly. If I had to guess at their rationale I would say that they are in favour of SSB but aren't willing to take this stand now because they are still hoping to work out something with the Global South. I think it is just putting off the inevitable but then I'm not a bishop and didn't have to vote.