The Anglican Church of Canada could be marrying same-sex couples in its churches as soon as 2019 if its General Synod votes in favor of the reform in July.
Canada’s Anglicans will meet in Toronto for the 2016 synod and for the reform to pass it will require the support of two-thirds of the church’s bishops, two-thirds of its clergy and two thirds of its laity.
From there the proposal will be sent out to the church’s ecclesiastical provinces and diocese for comment.
The issue would then return to the next General Synod in 2019 for a second reading and if it is approved then Anglican churches in Canada will be free to start performing religious same-sex marriages.
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Fred Hiltz, is in favor of the church marrying gay couples and many Anglican diocese in Canada already allow their churches to perform relationship blessings for same-sex couples who are entering into civil marriages.
However he has acknowledged that many people in the church may not agree with religious marriages for same-sex couples being performed in churches for faith or cultural reasons
It is likely that any proposal put to the synod would have opt out clauses for any clergy or congregation that holds more traditional views.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005 however it is up to individual denominations to decide who can marry in their churches and many couples opt for civil marriages.