Toronto bishop urges calm/patience in face of gay marriage defeat at Synod

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Last night at General Synod, the motion to change the Anglican Church of Canada’s marriage canon to include same-sex marriage did not receive the required two-thirds majority. The support for change in the houses of laity and clergy was very strong. And yet the motion was defeated in the House of Bishops by a very narrow margin. I know that this is devastating news to our LGBTQ+ community, families and friends. I share in that sense of devastation, knowing that this decision comes after decades of ongoing discussion, prayer and the courageous sharing of experience from the LGBTQ+ community. I had hoped that our Church was in a different place and would arrive at a different decision. I assure all of our LGBTQ+ siblings – beloved children of God – of my love and support. I know that it is tempting in this hour to lose heart. And yet let us take comfort in the words of Paul: “So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” -Galatians 6:9. 

I am also aware that many of our fellow Anglicans are greatly relieved by this decision to maintain the existing Marriage Canon. To them, I ask for charity and graciousness as their fellow Christians grieve. I commend this Church to God’s safe keeping as we continue with important deliberations at General Synod. I will speak to you again in a video message at the conclusion of our gathering.

Andrew Asbil, Bishop of Toronto