This page contains the most recent reports, decisions and pastoral letters of The Presbyterian Church in Canada related to sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as reports from the past three decades for historical context about how the church has addressed questions related to sexuality and LGBTQI inclusion.

From the Social Action Handbook (p. 27)

    • Homosexual orientation is not a sin. The weight of scientific evidence suggests that sexual orientation is innate, established early in life, and not a matter of choice. This position was reaffirmed by the 2019 General Assembly.
    • Scripture treats homosexual practice as a departure from God’s created order.
    • Homosexual acts between consenting adults are a private matter and should not be criminalized.
    • The church does not limit the roles of its members on the basis of their sexual orientation. These roles include church school teachers, musicians, youth leaders, ruling elders, teaching elders and members of the Order of Diaconal Ministries.
    • We must oppose the form of hatred known as homophobia as vigorously as any other.3 Anger, hatred, and acts of denigration towards gay and lesbian people should not be tolerated within a congregation or the greater community.
    • The church as a whole must repent of its homophobia and hypocrisy. The church is called to be a welcoming, nurturing, loving and supporting community, a true church family, where all are welcomed, nurtured, loved and supported.

In July 2020, the Assembly Council allocated funds to support a staff position to help the church fulfill decisions and statements it has made about sexuality, orientation and gender. The Life and Mission Agency announced that Carragh Erhardt has been hired to assist with this work as the Program Coordinator, Sexuality and Inclusion. This page will be updated in the coming weeks.

Contact Carragh by email or 1-800-619-7301 ext. 278.

Image of arrow pointing down2019 General Assembly Summary of Decisions Regarding Human Sexuality
Image of arrow pointing downLiberty of Conscience and Action
Image of arrow pointing down2018 Report of Committee on Church Doctrine and Life and Mission Agency Committee Re Sexuality Overtures
Image of arrow pointing down2017 Report of Committee on Church Doctrine and Life and Mission Agency Committee Re Sexuality Overtures
Image of arrow pointing downInterim Report of the Special Committee on Sexual Orientation, 2000
Image of arrow pointing downReport of the Special Committee on Sexual Orientation 2003
Image of arrow pointing downReport on Human Sexuality, Committee on Church Doctrine, 1994
Image of arrow pointing downSupplementary: Proposal for a Process of Dealing with Overtures Regarding Human Sexuality
Image of arrow pointing downLegal Opinion re. Performing Same-Sex Marriages

In September of 2019, at the request of the General Assembly, the Rev. Amanda Currie, Moderator, wrote a pastoral letter to the church with regard to the recommendations about sexuality adopted at the 2019 General Assembly.

In February of 2018, the Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2018 General Assembly issued a letter of repentence at the direction of the 2017 General Assembly.

In August of 2017, the Rev. Peter Bush, Moderator of the 2017 General Assembly wrote a pastoral letter to the church about the sexuality discussion the courts of the church are having.

In January 2016, the Rev. Karen Horst, Moderator of the 141st General Assembly, wrote a pastoral letter to the church about the discussion the denomination is having about human sexuality; this followed a previous pastoral letter sent in November 2015.