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The motion needed a two-thirds majority from the laity, clergy and the bishops to pass. 62% of the bishops voted in favour, failing to reach the requirement.
The Anglican Church of Canada has rejected a proposal to add same-sex unions to national church laws by a narrow vote, at the Church’s general synod.
The motion would have amended the church's marriage canon to remove references to the sacrament being a union between a man and a woman, allowing same-sex marriage.
However, another motion passed, which lets each individual diocese to decide if they want to conduct same-sex marriages.
NOT ENOUGH MAJORITY AMONG BISHOPS
In order to pass, the original motion required a two-thirds majority from each of three groups of delegates: the laity, clergy and bishops.
While two-thirds of the Order of Laity (80.9%) and the Order of Clergy (73.2%) voted to amend the marriage canon, less than the required two-thirds (62.2%) voted in favour of the resolution in the Order of Bishops
The motion had been approved in a first vote at the last general assembly three years ago, but it needed to be validated at two meetings in a row.
PAIN AND DIVISION
“The failure of the motion to change the marriage canon will be deeply painful for LGBT members of our Church and for those beyond the Church who looked to this step as a sign of hope and inclusion”, Bishop Linda Nicholls wrote on Facebook.
“I’m deeply grieved by the pain and the division that this entire process has caused. But not passing this marriage canon change was the right decision. And saying that does not invalidate my love for LGBT people”, said Bishop Joey Royal, a vocal opponent of amending the marriage canon.
SAME-SEX MARRIAGE DEBATES
Last February, the global United Methodist Church decided to maintain the biblical model of a heterosexual union, by a narrow vote of 438 votes to 384, during the General Conference in St. Louis (USA).
The European Evangelical Alliance recently issued a paper on “How to respond to the LGBT agenda” in which it said that “moving away from God’s pattern for family life is not an option for evangelical Christians”.