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
The motion read:
"That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any
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!