I was there in 1988 and I remember big discussions in my church—the Men’s Group adamant that admitting gays to be minister was very wrong. “Do you WANT a pedophile in the pulpit?!” they said.
In the end, our main minister cleverly got everyone to agree to remain in the United Church of Canada (UCC) but to join the “Community of Concern”, which could apparently advocate for change from inside the Church. Then a few years later at another AGM (Annual General Meeting) some of the men tried to bring it up again but were squashed by a lawyer who got up and said that discrimination was against the law, and it was a DEAD ISSUE—not to be discussed any more—gay people were to be accepted completely. And that was the end of that!!
Personally, I emigrated from England in 1965 and was surprised that gender roles were so defined here. Men were SO macho and women SO feminine. I related it to movies about the Wild West where men were heroes on horseback and women were all corsets and frills. I’m sure the reality was different!!
Also, I remember we were coming out from the Charismatic movement where spiritualism was getting muddied into religion. And all this after the free-thinking 60s and 70s.
I think there was a fundamentalist group from the States who were troubled by our church perhaps going to allow gays to be ordained and came to the Gneeral Council to argue their point. Most people became angry at the idea of the US trying to take over (I know I was) and voted against them on principle.
Today we are known for our “liberal” attitudes. Some straight people can be put off by our gay continguent. I know of one lady who left, and another who is thinking of it. I wish we had some male gay couples here though.
All the best with the Iridesce project!
[Shared anonymously with this project.]