Canada’s Anglican and Lutheran churches have each turned down proposals to approve ceremonies of blessing for same-sex unions.
The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, meeting in Winnipeg, on June 24 narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.
Mincing few words, an umbrella group representing 22,000 Roman Catholic monks, nuns and priests in Canada’s religious orders has challenged the “intransigent” stands of the Vatican on such issues as divorce, contraception and homosexuality.
After two years of acrimonious debate, Canada’s House of Commons on June 28 passed a controversial same-sex marriage bill. If approved as expected by Canada’s Liberal-dominated Senate this month, the bill will allow same-sex couples to marry, making the country only the fourth in the world to recognize homosexual marriage.
Canadian religious groups that oppose gay marriage are trying to make the best of a Supreme Court ruling that paves the way for Canada to become the third nation besides Belgium and the Netherlands to allow nationwide recognition of gay nuptials.
Ministers of the United Church of Canada, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, have launched an unprecedented drive to unionize, saying they have been victims of harassment and emotional abuse for too long.
One day after deferring a decision on whether to bless gay relationships, Canadian Anglicans approved a statement that “affirms the integrity and sanctity of committed adult same-sex relationships”—stirring accusations from traditionalists that attaching “sanctity” to such partnerships is contradictory.