Great news! This blog entry is not accurate! After revisiting the count the vote passed and the Anglican communion in Canada has approved same-gender marriage. I have since chatted with the couple mentioned below about the surprising --providential?-- change of outcome.
When I turned on CBC radio at 5:00 AM (ya, I'm up far too early some days) I heard that the Anglican Synod had voted against supporting same-gender marriage by a "frog's hair," to use a friend's expression. A two-thirds majority by clergy was needed and narrowly missed --by a single vote.
I was saddened to hear this, for a number of reasons. I realized that an aspect of the decision has to do with the Canadian Anglican communion's relationship with the world-wide church, which is much more conservative in some regions.
I'm also disappointed by this outcome because it isn't just status quo, it is actually regressive. The Anglicans are another Cheshire Cat denomination akin to the United Church in their disappearing act in Canada. The United Church made the decision to allow same-gender marriage more than a decade ago, and some would argue that it hurt us. Yet neither the Anglicans nor the Presbyterians are faring any better than we are. If there is a hope that this will mollify some members, it is a hollow victory at best. I don't believe that this is more biblically or theologically faithful and will not be a hopeful message to a culture which has largely accepted same-gender marriage.
I am also thinking of an Anglican priest acquaintance who is married to his male partner. I can only imagine that this will be disheartening news for them as a couple. The decision won't be revisited until the next synod in 2019 which is a long time.
Meanwhile, a number of Canadian bishops say that they will ignore this synod decision and support same-gender marriage.
After the vote, Bishop John H. Chapman released a statement to the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, saying he was "extremely disappointed" by the vote."It is time my friends. It is past time," Chapman wrote, supporting a move to allow same-sex marriages in the Anglican Church."It is my intention … to proceed with same-sex marriages immediately within the Diocese of Ottawa. While no clergy will be required to officiate at a same-sex marriage, those willing may do so with my permission."
So where does that leave the Anglican church in Canada?This feels like a "hung jury" to me, without a clear outcome or direction.