It looks like my diocese (the Huron diocese) of the Anglican Church is moving forward toward allowing the blessing of same-sex couples within the church. At the synod in London, ON, more than 400 clergy and lay delegates voted 72% to ask the bishop to “grant permission to clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-gender couples, where at least one party is baptized.”
While not an outright declaration of support for same-sex marriage within the Anglican Church, it’s a big step forward. And I support them. I think this is the right thing to do.
I realize this will likely throw a bit more kerosene on the smouldering fire burning up the Church, but same sex marriage is something that I think the Anglican Church as a whole should accept. Because it is the right thing to do.
Yes, we have been fighting an lengthy debate within ourselves about homosexuality and the rights of homosexuals to marry and even join the priesthood. A great amount of time and energy has been spent trying to placate the more conservative African and Asian branches of this church. And because we are Anglicans, believers in compromise and “the middle way”, many of us have bent over backwards to accommodate these disparate points of view.
But the conservative side of the Church isn’t going to accept any accommodation that they see condones homosexual behaviour, and the liberal side of the Church isn’t going to accept any accommodation that treats homosexuals as second-class worshippers. And eventually, the time for talking has to come to a close. Sometimes, you simply have to decide what’s right and what’s wrong.
And if I haven’t made myself perfectly clear, then let this Anglican say it out loud: homosexuality is not a sin. It never was. We were wrong to have labelled it as such, and we have some apologizing to do. It is past time to respect the rights and equality of this group of people, and to welcome them into the Church, just as God, I’m sure, welcomes homosexuals and homosexual couples into his loving arms, like all us sinners. It’s time to treat homosexual marriages with the same level of respect we give heterosexual marriages.
And if that causes the more conservative members of the Church to up sticks and leave, then let them go. Let them fade into history. Sometimes you have to take a stand for what’s right, regardless of who you offend. Sometimes compromise simply isn’t the way to go.