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Monday, June 25, 2007

Gay marraige nixed!

Canadian Anglicans voted against blessing same-sex unions late Sunday afternoon.

Church delegates voted on the issue at their general assembly, or synod in Winnipeg.

Earlier in the day, delegates voted in favour of a motion decreeing that blessing the unions does not violate core doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada.

But another motion, which would have allowed individual dioceses to choose whether to perform the blessing, was rejected by the bishops of the church late Sunday afternoon.

Cheryl Chang, a spokeswoman for Anglican Essentials, a group lobbying against same-sex blessings, said she believes confused and frustrated parishioners will start finding other churches immediately.

"People [will] leave to go to the Catholic church, the Baptist church, the Pentecostal church. That's going to happen starting next Sunday, or next Monday even," Chang said.

"These are decisions that are very confusing for the church, and ultimately, very divisive."

Both resolutions were widely supported by both clergy and laity in Sunday's votes, but needed the support of the bishops in order to pass.

The bishops narrowly accepted the resolution on doctrine by just two votes. However, when it came to allowing same-sex blessing ceremonies, the bishops voted 21 to 19 against the idea.

Though the church hasn't approved the practice, observers say the foundation has been laid for same-sex blessings in Canada.

Some of the more conservative Anglican churches have already threatened the U.S. church with expulsion over its blessings of same-sex couples, a reason opponents are concerned about Sunday's decisions.

"To do what they've done is to step apart from the worldwide Anglican communion," said Rev. Canon Charlie Masters, the head of Anglican Essentials.

"This is a very sad day for Anglicans." The issue has been contentious beyond the Anglican community.

Canada's Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is also meeting in Winnipeg this weekend, rejected same-sex blessings in a vote held Saturday.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) www.God-101.com

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