PEI

Relieved, happy but not triumphant: A priest reflects on same-sex marriage vote

A Prince Edward Islander, now an Anglican priest in Toronto, describes the vote on performing same sex marriages this week as a long and emotional journey.

Canada's Anglican Church voted this week to perform same-sex marriages

The Anglican Church voted this week to start performing same sex marriages. (Christ's Church Cathedral)

A Prince Edward Islander, now an Anglican priest in Toronto, describes the vote on performing same sex marriages this week as a long and emotional journey.

It was a divisive vote. Initially it looked like the resolution had failed, but it passed by one vote in a recount.

"I think relieved, is what I feel today, that I now finally belong to a church that fully embraces my LGBT family and friends and same sex marriage," said Reverend Dawn Leger.

"I feel relieved and happy but certainly not triumphant because I felt that devastation Monday night that others are feeling today, and I know that many of my sisters and brothers feel the same way I did, and I wouldn't wish that on anybody."

A convert to same sex marriages

Leger told CBC Island Morning host Matt Rainnie that she was once opposed to the idea of the church performing same sex marriages, but her experience of spending time with gay and lesbian friends on P.E.I., and with her gay brother, changed her mind.

'[It] has made me feel hypocritical.- Reverend Dawn Leger

"Just being able to witness and experience the love of God that exists in their relationships is what changed my mind," she said.

"Feeling called to serve a church where that love was not recognized - and we are based in the love of Jesus Christ for the world - and to see that that love was not being recognized among people who I deeply care about has been painful at times, and has made me feel hypocritical."

Process of healing needed

Leger said she was particularly moved by consideration of children being raised by same sex couples.

"The way we were excluding same-sex couples from the rite of marriage was saying something very deep and hurtful and wrong about these children," she said.

"That their family was less than, or rooted in something wrong."

Hurtful things were said during the debate, said Leger, and she believes healing with the LGBT community will have to take place. She thinks the church should follow the model of truth and reconciliation commissions to rebuild ties with LGBT church goers.

With files from Island Morning

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