200 delegates attending the six-day general synod, north of Toronto, rejected the resolution, after 60-plus speakers, most of whom supported it, argued their points.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005 and Monday’s vote puts the Anglican Church — the third-largest in Canada — out of step with most Canadians, including prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
The resolution required two-thirds support from each of three orders — the lay, clergy and bishops — to pass.
The bishops voted 68.42% in favour of the resolution and the lay delegates 72.22% in favour. But the clergy voted 66.23%, missing the percentage needed by a single vote.
The vote sparked bitter disappointment. “It is breaking my heart that there are people who see gay marriage as a separation from God and from love,” said Eliot Waddingham, 24, a transgender person from Ottawa, who was an observer at the conference and who worried that the vote was tantamount to a “death sentence” for the church.
“Woah. One vote,” tweeted the Rev Jeremy Smith. “Prayers for all those wounded by the anti- LGBTQ vote.”