Note: Your patience is appreciated as we update the website to reflect decisions made at the 2021 General Assembly to adopt the Remits B and C regarding marriage and ordination of LGBTQI people. Read more here.
For the past several decades, The Presbyterian Church in Canada has studied and discussed questions related to sexuality, particularly questions related to same-sex marriage and the roles of LGBTQI people in ministry. During the 2021 General Assembly, The Presbyterian Church in Canada agreed to make changes to its theology and practice regarding marriage, recognizing that people may define marriage either as a covenant relationship between a man and a woman or as a covenant relationship between two adult people. These decisions provide Presbyterian ministers with liberty of conscience and the freedom to choose to officiate or not officiate at the marriages of same-sex couples. Additionally, the church agreed that LGBTQI people (whether married or single) can be ordained and are welcome to serve as ministers and ruling elders.
In 1994, the church recognized that we are called to be a welcoming, nurturing, loving and supportive community, a true church family, and to repent of homophobia and hypocrisy. In 2017, the church formed a special committee (also known as the Rainbow Communion) to listen to the stories of LGBTQI people and others related to harms done due to homophobia, transphobia, hypocrisy and/or heterosexism to them within and by the church and to share their stories of God’s grace experienced by them and Christian ministry. The Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly, wrote a letter of repentance to LGBTQI people and reminding the church of God’s call to be a community where we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us.
In 2021, General Assembly adopted the final report and recommendations of the Rainbow Communion, which outline ways for the church to acknowledge harm to LGBTQI people through public confession and apology, as well as necessary policies and programs that will help the church include LGBTQI people more fully in all aspects of ministry. A fund will also be established to support psychotherapy or counselling for those who have experienced harm done by homophobia, hypocrisy, transphobia and heterosexism in the denomination.
The pages below provide links to decisions and statements the church has made regarding sexuality, resources for study and discussion, and pastoral care resources. If you have any questions or would like to request further resources, contact Carragh Erhardt, Program Coordinator – Sexuality and Inclusion.