Ottawa

Anglican Church in Ottawa to continue performing gay marriages

The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa will continue to recognize and perform same-sex marriages despite last week's vote at the church's national assembly in Vancouver, its bishop has confirmed. 

Motion to recognize same-sex unions failed at national assembly

Two women place wedding bands on the finger of their partner as they renew their vows in a public ceremony on Oct. 24, 2015, in Morehead, Ky. The Anglican Church of Canada has voted down a proposal to bless same-sex marriage across the denomination, though branches of the church in each province will still be able to make up their own minds on the matter. (Timpthy D. Easley/Canadian Press)

The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa will continue to recognize and perform same-sex marriages despite last week's vote at the church's national assembly in Vancouver, its bishop has confirmed. 

While more than half of the clergy members at the assembly voted to allow same-sex unions, it failed to pass by the required two-thirds majority Friday.

Some archbishops needed to catch up, and that was the depressing thing for me.- Bishop John Chapman

Bishop John Chapman told CBC's Ottawa Morning he found the result "extremely disappointing." 

"Some archbishops needed to catch up, and that was the depressing thing for me, and the part that was sad for me is that that reality still exists," Chapman said. 

The Anglican Church voted in favour of recognizing same-sex marriage at its national assembly three years ago, but needed to confirm that decision on Friday in order for it to become law. It didn't, so the matter remains unresolved at the national level. 

Chapman said that means bishops can still recognize and perform same sex marriages in their own dioceses.

"I think in a sense it's to protect the church from itself sometimes," he said.

Bishop John Chapman said he's disappointed by Friday's vote at the national assembly, but plans to continue performing and recognizing same-sex marriages in Ottawa. (Submitted by John Chapman )
 

Awkward conversations

Chapman said he's had conversations with other bishops who oppose same-sex marriage.

"It's awkward," he said. "It's the kind of conversation with people who are entrenched in a particular point of view, and it goes as far as these conversations typically go." 

Chapman said he's concerned the headlines stemming from Friday's vote will give Canadians the wrong idea about the church.

"Morally, legally and emotionally, 85 per cent of the leadership of the church that gathered in Vancouver in the last week is affirming," he said.