In 2013 the General Synod passed a resolution directing the drafting of a motion “to change Canon XXI on marriage to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples, and that this motion should include a conscience clause so that no member of the clergy, bishop, congregation or diocese should be constrained to participate in or authorize such marriages against the dictates of their conscience.” Such a motion will be considered by the 2016 General Synod.
The General Synod stipulated that the preparation of this motion should, among other things, demonstrate that a “broad consultation” has taken place. To that end, a Commission on the Marriage Canon was established, and an important part of its mandate includes inviting “signed written submissions on the matter of amending Canon XXI (“On Marriage in the Church”) so as to provide for same-sex marriage in our church from any member of the Anglican Church of Canada who wishes to make such a submission.”
To this end the Commission on the Marriage Canon invited submissions from members of the Anglican Church of Canada between April 28 and September 30, 2014. The commission’s terms of reference also specifically state: “In order to ensure the credibility of the commission and the transparency of its work, all submissions to the commission will be posted on the national church’s website.” As submissions were received and reviewed, they were posted below in the order in which they were received.
Other submissions solicited by the commission from specialized experts and full communion and ecumenical partners will be posted as they are received. You may consult the commission’s terms of reference below for additional details on its mandate, continuing work, and timetable.
The Commission presented its final report to the Council of General Synod on September 22, 2015.