Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anglicans okay 'local option'


[Toronto Star] 20 Nov 2007--A seismic shift in the way Canadian Anglicans are treating same-sex blessings has made its way to the Diocese of Niagara.

In a historic weekend vote, Anglicans in the diocese moved overwhelmingly to adopt the so-called local option, allowing clergy "whose conscience permits" to bless the marriages of gays and lesbians.

The Right Rev. Ralph Spence said he will allow same-sex blessings in the Niagara diocese, which includes Hamilton, Burlington and Guelph as well as the Niagara Region, once a protocol has been worked out.

In a similar meeting in 2004, three-quarters of 300 lay and clergy delegates attending the annual diocesan synod (meeting) voted in favour of the local option.

But Spence, saying he was "inwardly torn" because he personally supported the majority, wouldn't allow it to go ahead.

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