Edmonton Anglican bishop ecstatic after church votes in favour of same-sex marriage
'I wanted to express my solidarity and my vision of the outrageous and extravagant love on an inclusive God'
Jane Alexander, the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Edmonton, is on cloud nine following a recent vote by her church authorizing same-sex marriages.
At the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, a vote was held to determine whether the church should allow same-sex marriage. A two-thirds majority of bishops, clergy, and lay delegates was required to pass the motion.
"It gave everybody in the room a chance to be in the other person's shoes as it were.- Bishop Jane Alexander
Alexander attended the synod as a strong supporter of passing the motion.
The process was a dramatic spectacle, with the church initially saying the majority needed to change church law was missed by a single vote.
But when some people questioned why their votes didn't count, a recount occurred and a stunning reversal of the decision.
When the vote was originally announced as having failed to pass, Alexander said she was "sick at heart" about the outcome. But she now feels the computing error was actually a positive as it allowed for both sides to understand each other.
"It gave everybody in the room a chance to be in the other person's shoes as it were. Because the first day, those of us who have been in favour of the amendment, were very upset and saddened," Alexander told the CBC's Radio Active show on Thursday.
"The next day the group who had been in favour of not changing the canon were in exactly the same place."
Alexander made an impassioned speech in favour of changing the canon.
"My message was to tell the LGBT community that they are beloved children of God, that we could never say, even for a moment, that they weren't welcome in the church and that there are somehow first and second-class Christians," said Alexander.
"I wanted to express my solidarity and my vision of the outrageous and extravagant love of an inclusive God."
Alexander said nationally the church will be studying what the change to explicitly permit same-sex marriage will look like. Alexander will be meeting with senior officials and her clergy to see what that means at a local level.
For now though, she said it's important to reflect, and pray upon, the decision reached in Toronto.
"I think we have to be willing to accept there have been times in the church's history that we've gotten things spectacularly right and spectacularly wrong."