Dear Clergy and People of the Diocese of Huron,
Ever since my ordination to the diaconate, and before, the Anglican Church in our Diocese has been on a journey to listen to the stories of members of the LGBTQ2+ communities. Many of us have come to understand that all persons are wholly made in the image of God. We have welcomed LGBTQ2+ persons into our parishes, they have become our deacons and priests and within the last year have been able to be married in churches that have been given permission to hold same-sex weddings. After thought and prayer, I have decided to remove the requirement that special permission be required by priests or parishes before a same sex wedding can be held in a parish. All priests in the diocese may marry any two persons who meet the requirements found in our Marriage in the Church Guidelines which is available here.
I know that some of you will disagree with this decision. The Anglican church is a large tent of diverse theologies and the Diocese of Huron is no different. Priests have always been able to determine whether or not they are comfortable performing a particular wedding ceremony and this has not changed. I do ask that a priest who does not wish to do a same-sex wedding refer the couple to another priest or to my office.
The marriage rite that I am authorizing for same-sex weddings and also for opposite-sex weddings is that from the Episcopal Church which may be found here. It has been slightly amended to ensure that the marriage laws of Ontario are being followed. As the marriage rites in the BCP and BAS are authorized by General Synod only for opposite-sex marriages, they may not be used for same-sex marriages.
I pray that we may continue to reveal the love of God in all our relationships.
Yours in Christ,
The Right Reverend Todd Townshend
Bishop of Huron