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.
Delegates rejected the motion to add same-sex unions to national church laws on Friday at the church’s General Synod, a meeting held every three years to decide issues of policy and doctrine.
The Church doesn’t prohibit same-sex marriage outright and in 2016 said leadership at the provincial level could decide whether to allow it within their jurisdictions.
But it has been mulling whether to add same-sex marriage to the church’s Marriage Canon for years.
The Church’s leadership requested that a motion to amend the denomination’s position be prepared in 2013.
The resolution was first voted on at the last synod in 2016, and was amended to allow same-sex marriages that were authorized by a local bishop and approved by provincial and regional leadership.
Friday’s failing vote was the second reading of the policy.
The membership also voted in a new church leader after the previous top bishop opted to retire.
Fred Hiltz will be succeeded by Rev. Linda Nicholls — the first woman to hold the role — who had been bishop in the Ontario Diocese of Huron.
The Canadian Press