Meeting of the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada
Mount Carmel Spiritual Centre, Niagara Falls ON
2006 04 23-27 [regular spring meeting of the house]
moved by Bishop Lawrence [Archbishop of Moosonee] / seconded by Bishop Poole [Suffragan – Toronto/Credit Valley]
The House of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada notes with grave concern legislation before the Nigerian parliament that would prohibit or severely restrict the freedom of spech, association, expression, and assembly of gay and lesbian persons in Nigeria. This legislation is inconsistent with the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, that recognises these rights as derived from the inherent dignity of the human person.
The Archbishop and Bishops are especially grieved by the strong and public support for this legislation given by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Whereas Lambeth 1998 resolution I.10 called on churches to listen to the experience of homosexual persons, the proposed legislation criminalises civil and religious same-sex marriage as well as the public and private expression of same-sex affection, all public affiliation between gay persons, and even publicity, public support, and media reporting of the same. The proposed legislation, endorsed in an official communique of the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria signed by its Primate, would make the very act of listening to homosexual persons impossible.
The members of the House of Bishops are in full agreement with the Primates’ statement from Dromantine in 2005, that ‘The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.’ The Nigerian legislation, and its endorsement by the Church of Nigeria, is indeed anathema to us, and quite at odds with the grace and love given to all human beings in Jesus Christ.
We therefore disassociate ourselves from the actions of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) that are inconsistent with the Commitments of its bishops made at Lambeth and Dromantine, and we call on Anglicans throughout the Communion to listen and respect the human rights of homosexual persons.