Canada’s Anglican ‘Church’ reverses course, approves gay marriage

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A day after the Anglican Church of Canada narrowly voted not to authorize gay unions, questions about the integrity of the voting process emerged Tuesday, leading to a reversal of the result with the church approving the measure.

More than 200 delegates attending the six-day General Synod 2016 narrowly rejected the resolution Monday night after hearing from more than 60 speakers, most of them in favor of gay marriage.

However, on Tuesday – the last day of the triennial conference – some members stood up to say their ballot had not been recorded during voting late Monday, when the resolution failed to pass by a single vote.

Delegates requested a detailed hard copy of the electronic voting records, which lead to a recount. Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the church then declared the resolution in favor of same-sex marriage passed, a resolution that aligns with secular Canada, which legalized same-sex marriage in 2005.

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In order for the resolution to have passed, it required two-thirds support from each of three orders – the lay, clergy and bishops.

“Same-sex marriage. In the church. In my lifetime,” tweeted Lauren Bryant-Monk, of Halifax. “I’m so proud to be Anglican today.”

The resolution still needs affirmation by the next synod in 2019 before it becomes church law.

On Tuesday, several bishops said they planned to go ahead with same-sex marriages regardless. They leaned on a statement from the chancellor of the general synod, who said the current marriage canon does not specifically ban solemnizing same-sex marriages.


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