Integrity Canada is pleased that much of motion 134 was passed. It acknowledges our division, speaks of our diversity across cultures and calls for adequate Episcopal oversight for all Canadian Anglicans. These are all good things. We were particularly glad to see Bp Phillips' amendment to specifically include gays and lesbians in the discussions ahead.
Integrity Canada is disappointed that the referral to dioceses ("local option") was deferred to 2007. In its original form it would have enabled dioceses to authorise same-sex blessings, but not force individual dioceses to move in any particular direction. By postponing decision on local option, General Synod is refusing to respond to an increasingly urgent pastoral need in our community, and hindering any evangelistic work or witness among the lesbian and gay community.
We are waiting for the debate on the section 6 amendment, that will affirm the integrity and sanctity of committed same-sex relationships. Passage of that amendment will greatly strengthen our message of hope and acceptance of gays and lesbians by the church.
We are saddened that the General Synod still seems unwilling to respect those whose well-reasoned and biblically informed consciences would permit blessing of same-sex unions. There has been no recognition of local differences and varying pastoral needs.
We do however welcome the opportunity to continue dialogue with our brothers and sisters who have not yet understood our faith experience and desire to be included fully within our faith community.
We have to ask what three more years will add to the decades of work that the church has already been engaged in. There have been calls for study and listening since the 1980s. This horse has been led to water again and again and again, and now is complaining that it is thirsty.
Integrity Canada is a network of gay and lesbian Anglicans and their friends. Their website is www.integritycanada.org