Same-sex marriage in Montreal's Anglican church will go ahead despite vote, bishop says

Mary Irwin-Gibson said the close vote means same-sex marriage could one day be blessed, but many are running out of patience.

Anglican Church of Canada narrowly voted down same-sex marriage Monday night

Mary Irwin-Gibson says many are hurt by the continued banning of same-sex marriage. (REUTERS/Artur Bainozarov )

UPDATE: On Tuesday afternoon, delegates requested a detailed hard copy of the electronic voting records and discovered that a single vote had been miscounted, meaning the motion did pass and Anglicans will allow same sex marriage.

The head of the Anglican church in Montreal says she will allow her clergy to perform same-sex marriages, even though church leaders shot down marriage reform at a national meeting on Monday. 

Mary Irwin-Gibson, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal, will join Ottawa Bishop John Chapman in rejecting a decision by the church's General Synod, which won't recognize same-sex marriage.

A motion that would have amended the church's rules on who can be married was narrowly rejected by clergy gathered at a six-day meeting north of Toronto.   

Irwin-Gibson was disappointed with the outcome of the vote, but indicated she won't let it determine how marriage is performed in the Montreal diocese.  

''In terms of practical terms, for our diocese, I will be allowing some same-gender marriages to happen after I've discussed it with the clergy, and when the clergy come to me individually," Irwin-Gibson told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

'Disappointing for many, many people'

In order for marriage reform to be formally accepted in the Canadian church, all three of its groups — clergy, bishops and ordinary members — have to be onside by a two-thirds majority. 

The bishops voted 68.42 per cent in favour of the resolution and the lay delegates voted 72.22 per cent in favour. However, the clergy voted 66.23 per cent, just missing the percentage needed.

"It was really disappointing for many, many people," Mary Irwin-Gibson said.

"One way or another, there are people who are ready to do same-gender marriages tomorrow and there are dioceses that don't ever see the day coming," she said.

Hurt and exclusion

The narrow vote means same-sex marriage could one day be blessed, but Irwin-Gibson said many are running out of patience.

"That's going to be a long time," Irwin-Gibson said. "But there are people who are really impatient and really hurt and feel really excluded."

With files from Antoni Nerestant