LGBT Friendly

equal-anglicansWhat does it mean that we are LGBT friendly?

LGBT stands for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered”. It could also be extended to include “Queer” and “Intersex” to read LGBTQI.

The short answer is that we are open and welcoming to all members of the LGBTQI community and we desire to create an environment that is supportive of LGBTQI people and their relationships, respectful of all people, treat all people equally, and are non-judgmental. We do not judge people on their sexual orientation or their gender identity, but rather, we seek to affirm them in their self-identity.

We believe that this is part of the Gospel imperative to love one another as God loves us. While there are a few passages in the Bible that do not support homosexual acts, these texts were culturally conditioned and were in the context of Jewish ritual purity for sacrifices at the Jerusalem Temple. As Christians we do not accept these requirements anymore than we require circumcision, animal sacrifices, or particular diets. Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, and he did not condemn it.

As a parish we are supportive of the Blessing of Same Sex Relationships. A couple who are in a same-sex relation and have been married by a marriage commissioner may come to the clergy of the parish to receive a blessing on their union in a service designed specifically for this.

At this time the rules of the Anglican Church of Canada around the marriage of  same-sex couples according to the rites of the church are changing. An amendment to the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada was considered in July 2016 by the General Synod (the national legislative body of the national church); this amendment passed First Reading and will require Second Reading in 2019 to formally become part of our rules. The amendment does not refer to same-sex relations as such, but replaces gender-specific language with gender neutral terms like “parties to the marriage”. A report on the issues around the change was prepared by a special commission and it may be downloaded from this website. The Rector of the Parish is in favour of changing the Marriage Canon, and his submission may be downloaded here: Bruce Bryant-Scott Marriage Canon Submission .

That said, the Chancellor of General Synod issued an opinion that, as the Marriage Canon does not explicitly forbid same-sex relations (when it does explicitly forbid marriage within certain degrees of family relations, or marriage when the parties are below a certain age), it is the case that Diocesan Bishops may use their authority as chief liturgical officers (ius liturgicum) to authorise such marriages. On that basis the bishops of several dioceses in Canada have issued notices that they are doing so and have prescribed particular liturgical texts. The Right Reverend Dr. Logan McMenamie, Bishop of British Columbia, has verbally stated that he is inclined to accept the chancellor’s opinion and will authorise such rites.