Saturday, May 31, 2008

Fourth Canadian diocese votes in favour of same-sex blessings

A fourth Canadian diocese has voted to permit same-sex blessings.

On May 26 delegates to the Diocese of Huron’s annual synod adopted a resolution asking their Bishop, the Rt Rev Bruce Howe, to authorize the rites.

Bishop Howe gave his assent to the resolution, but would not authorize the rites until he had had an opportunity to speak with the other members of the Canadian House of Bishops.

Approximately 60 delegates at the London Ontario Convention Center spoke to the issue during two hours of debate, and the resolution passed by strong majorities. Amongst the clergy the vote was 97-36 in favour, and 227-87 in favour amongst the lay delegates.

Following the vote, Bishop Howe said he hoped the decision would not divide the church. “We want to maintain unity in diversity,” he said, adding that “we're in a global community, whether people want it or not.”

Bishop Howe indicated that he would make a final decision on whether or not to authorize same-sex blessings after this summer’s Lambeth Conference.

His stance mirrors that of the Bishops of Montreal, Niagara and Ottawa whose synods have asked their bishops to authorize gay blessings also.

Only the Diocese of New Westminster under Bishop Michael Ingham formally permits gay blessings.

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