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A Single Vote Stopped, Then Saved, A Same-Sex Marriage Resolution By The Anglican Church Of Canada

The votes were initially miscounted.

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The Anglican Church of Canada has voted to recognize same-sex marriages, but only after initially miscounting the votes.

Canadian Press

The church membership gathered in Toronto this week for a General Synod, a meeting held every three years where resolutions regarding doctrine are voted on by three orders of the church: bishops, clergy, and lay people.

A resolution to change the marriage canon failed to pass on Monday by a single vote. A two-thirds majority of all three orders was needed for the change, and the clergy failed to meet the threshold.

Percentages show motion to allow same-sex marriage fails to get 2/3 majority from clergy; loses by 1 vote

But some people raised concerns that the votes had been improperly tallied, touching off a recount that found General Secretary Michael Thompson's vote had been counted as a lay vote instead of clergy.

"This one vote changed the outcome of resolution A051-R2 — the resolution to amend the marriage canon," Thompson later said in a statement.

"This vote has been difficult for many, and no outcome can address all of our church’s need to live and work together. We have a long road ahead to restore our common life."

After the resolution passed, Archbishop Fred Hiltz acknowledged it had been a difficult vote, saying people had felt "pulled apart" by the issue, according to the Canadian Press.

Anglican Church of Canada / Facebook / Via Facebook: canadiananglican

"Our work on this matter is not done," he said. "It's not sufficient for us to simply say we dealt with the resolution."

The church now has three years to review the resolution before it votes on it again at the 2019 synod before it comes fully into effect, as is church practice for all such changes.

For Americans watching #gs2016: If marriage canon change is passed at this synod, only goes into effect if passed again at #gs2019.

The Anglican church already recognizes the "integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships" after passing a resolution to that effect in 2004.

The vote is already being met with joy by many in the church. Allison Courey, an priest from Winnipeg who campaigned to have same-sex marriages like hers fully recognized, told CBC's As It Happens the vote sent a powerful message "for the future of our church and our young people."

Some months ago, I made a commitment not to participate in any sacraments until I could participate in all of them. Today I can. #GS2016

"It does mean this is becoming a reality and a norm in our church, and I'm very grateful for that," she said. "And it means that I belong."

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at

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