Recount Reversal

By Sue Careless

Even though yesterday the Anglican Church of Canada was thought to have narrowly defeated a motion to allow for same-sex marriage, it has now been confirmed by a recount that, in fact, the motion passed by a tiny margin.

On Monday a vote affirming the blessing of same-sex marriage was defeated by a single clergy vote, only to be reversed today when a technological error was discovered.

The stunning reversal occurred in the last hours of General Synod after one delegate requested a recount. There were concerns that some of the clickers delegates had been using to vote had not functioned. Two members stood up to say their votes had not been recorded during the vote late Monday.

The error was discovered Tuesday after delegates requested a detailed hard copy of the electronic voting records.

“That is an issue of concern,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the church. “We cannot leave this synod with this kind of confusion.”

To pass, the resolution required two-thirds majority of each of three orders — lay, clergy and bishops. The clergy failed to reach that threshold by one vote that was apparently not counted because it was counted in the lay order.

The vote of the Rev. Michael Thompson, General Secretary of General Synod, had been mistakenly coded as “clergy, non-voting.” (Initially, it was thought his vote had been miscoded as a lay vote.)

Last evening there had been tears among LGBT delegates and their supporters when the resolution was thought to have failed. Today the tears flowed among Indigenous delegates and others who opposed the motion.

Image: morguefile/number cruncher

Updated: July 14, 2016, 7:08 a.m.


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