At the General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada, held July 7-12, a proposal to allow the Canadian Anglican ministry to solemnize same-sex marriages was voted upon and was reported to have failed by a single vote. The next day, however, it was reported that there had been a counting error and that the measure actually had passed. Thus, by the closes of margins, the Anglican Church of Canada approved same-sex marriage.
The resolution provides that: “A minister may only solemnize a marriage between persons of the same sex if authorized by the diocesan bishop … .” It also substitutes “partners” for “husband and wife” and replaces “a man and a woman” with “the parties to the marriage.”
The issue was a unity-breaker. Some clergy walked out of the Synod in protest to the raising of such a divisive issue. When it was reported that the proposal had failed, some bishops rebelled saying that they would conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies anyway. When it was reported that the measure had passed, one church member wrote a letter expressing his dismay over the Synod’s failure “to defend one of the most fundamental doctrines of the church as made clear by Scripture, tradition and reason.”