Anglican Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador affirms Marriage Equality with 88% majority

Today, September 28, at a special gathering of Anglican delegates at the Sheraton Hotel in St. John’s, NL at Synod 2019, a Motion was passed by 88% to affirm Marriage Equality in the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador. At present, eight Anglican parishes in the Diocese have formally requested permission from the Bishop to perform same-sex marriages and they are now given permission to proceed. The passing of this Motion affirms the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese to allow parishes and congregations which formally request permission of him or her to perform same sex marriages to do so.
The Right Reverend Dr. Geoffrey Peddle, Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador, in response to today’s vote, says: “The whole Church in our Diocese came together and decided to move forward for the full inclusion of LGBTQ2S+ persons as members of the Anglican Church by allowing same-sex marriage. Together we have made the Church bigger today. I support this decision and look forward to releasing a Pastoral Letter to the Diocese later this week.”

The full text of the Motion is as follows:


WHEREAS on the 12th day of July, 2019, the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada (“General Synod”) passed a resolution to accept the following Affirmation set out in “A Word to the Church” document dated March 16th, 2019, prepared by the Council of General Synod for consideration by General Synod;

“Affirmation #2
Diverse Understandings of the Existing Canon
We affirm that, while there are different understandings of the existing Marriage Canon, those bishops and synods who have authorized liturgies for the celebration and blessing of a marriage between two people of the same sex understand that the existing Canon does not prohibit same-sex marriage.”;

AND WHEREAS on the 13th day of July, 2019, the Order of Laity and the Order of Clergy of the General Synod voted in favour of a Resolution proposing the following revision to the Marriage Canon by the required majority while the Order of Bishops did not, as a result of which the Resolution failed:

“Declare that Canon XXI (On Marriage in the Church) applies to all persons who are duly qualified by civil law to enter into marriage.”

AND WHEREAS on the 15th day of July 2019, The House of Bishops of General Synod released the following declaration:

“Although the bishops are not of one mind, we look with hope to the “Word to the Church” and its affirmations which General Synod 2019 overwhelmingly approved on Friday, July 12.

We are walking together in a way which leaves room for individual dioceses and jurisdictions of our church to proceed with same-sex marriage according to their contexts and convictions, sometimes described as “local option.”

AND WHEREAS to date eight parishes of the Diocese of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador (“The Diocese”) have requested that the Bishop authorize the performance of same sex marriages in those parishes;

This Synod of the Diocese accept and endorse affirmation #2 of “A Word to the Church” and the “local option” as set out in the declaration of the House of Bishops, and on that basis affirm the authority of the Bishop of the Diocese to allow parishes and congregations which formally request permission of him or her to perform same sex marriages to do so.

MOVED by Canon Bradford Wicks, QC
SECONDED by The Ven. Sam Rose

Synod Agenda

Watch Synod Online – Saturday September 28 at 9:00 am NDT

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