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.”

As members of the Anglican Church of Canada, your input is vitally important as we enter this process of discernment together, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Submissions are welcome in both written and video form. Whatever the format, submissions should be as brief and concise as possible, and guided by some or all of the following questions:

  • How do you interpret what scripture says about marriage?
  • How do you understand the theological significance of gender difference in marriage?
  • Is there a distinction between civil marriage and Christian marriage?
  • The marriage canon describes “the purposes of marriage” as mutual fellowship, support, and comfort; the procreation (if it may be) and nurture of children; and the creation of a relationship in which sexuality may serve personal fulfilment in a community of faithful love. What is the theological significance of:
    • companionship in marriage?
    • bearing and raising children?
    • the relationship between marriage and sexuality?
  • What is the difference between marriage and the blessing of a relationship?
  • How do you understand the sacramentality of marriage?

Submissions must be received by Tuesday, September 30, 2014, and must include the author’s name, parish or institution, diocese, and contact details.

Questions can be sent to [email protected] with responses uploaded below. They may also be sent by post to:

Commission on the Marriage Canon
Anglican Church of Canada
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON  M4Y 3G2

All of the commissioners will read or view each submission as they prepare their report. As stipulated by the Commission on the Marriage Commission’s terms of reference, “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.”

Background information: