In August a Canadian exgay coalition wrote a letter to the Anglican Eames Commission. The letter complains of feeling victimized and oppressed by advocates for tolerance — but no examples of anti-exgay discrimination are provided, except one pro-exgay amendment defeated for reasons that the letter does not share.
Individually we have often been cowed into silence by those who seek to revise Biblical teachings on this issue. When we have had the courage to speak out, we have been ignored, dismissed, or overruled.
The letter also claims that the affirmation of other persons’ same-sex relationships “caused some of us much personal pain.”
Why does the church not seek to offer and promote God’s healing of the human brokenness which for some has led to homosexual behaviour, and instead seeks to enable this behaviour which is sinful in the eyes of God? Why is the church reluctant to walk the fine line, which declares that God loves each of us as we are right now, while loving us too much to leave us this way?
Instead of tending their own lives and brokenness, the exgay coalition seems to expect the church to impose a spirit of brokenness and one solitary prescription for healing upon all Anglicans.
The letter proceeds to endorse reparative therapy on the basis of anecdotal evidence alone…
We are sure you are aware of the many programmes available to help facilitate this healing process. When one dedicates oneself to the methods, the results can be truly liberating. Some of our group have experienced that liberation and are now in committed heterosexual unions, finding them to be most fulfilling in so many ways which our past homosexual liaisons could never provide.
The credibility of this endorsement is weakened by the coalition’s lack of compassion — specifically, its failure to acknowledge that many participants say they were harmed by such therapies.
Attached to the commission letter is another exgay letter to the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada.
In the second letter, the exgay advocates say they “were once active in the homosexual lifestyle, or have struggled with exclusively same-sex attractions.” The letter argues that the Church should hear exgay testimonies before blessing same-sex unions.
The writers claim to have “come under the authority of Scripture and entered into a process of exodus from the homosexual lifestyle.” The insinuation: Intolerance is Biblical, affirmation is not.
It is not loving for the Church to encourage us to live in slavery to this mortal flesh, and not honest to assert that change is not possible.
The letter writers decline to define “change” and decline to substantiate their accusation that same-sex-attracted people of faith are somehow more “enslaved” to mortal flesh than exgay or heterosexual Anglicans.
The letter writers were:
Rev. Don Alcock, Diocese of Huron
Rev. Mario Bergner, Diocese of Quincy
Rev. Alex Cameron, Diocese of Montreal (on leave)
David Colpitts, Diocese of Toronto
Toni Dolfo-Smith, Diocese of New Westminster
Daryle Duke, Diocese of Rupert’s Land
Rev. Stephen Emery, Diocese of Huron
Lawrence Foley, Diocese of Fredericton
Rob Goetze, Diocese of Edmonton
Alan MacGowan, Diocese of Fredericton
Glen McAllister, Diocese of Fredericton
Rev. Dawn McDonald, Diocese of New Westminster
Tanya Quick, Diocese of Montreal
Kirsten Rumary, Diocese of New Westminster
Michel Schnob, Diocese of Ottawa
Rev. Dr. Joy Vernon, Diocese of British Columbia