1 min

Can Christian marriage change?

Rev John Gibault will discuss its evolution

All who love are born of God and know God – 1 John 4:7.

That is Gillian Wallace’s favourite bible verse.

“I don’t think that we have any right to judge people’s love,” she says.

Wallace is a member of the Ottawa chapter of Canadians For Equal Marriage and the organizer of a lecture presentation on the actual history of Christian marriage. Wallace sees a real need for education in this area because the battle over same-sex marriage has been couched as a largely Christian fundamentalist debate.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there,” she explains. “There are a lot of attempts to say ‘We can’t change the definition of marriage, it has always been this way for 2,000 years, unchanging’ and they’re wrong. Marriage has evolved throughout the centuries quite dramatically.”

Wallace is expecting an Anglican audience, with some interested people from other denominations, for the first event but she is hoping future events will attract those from other faiths.

Rev Dr John Gibaut, director of Anglican Studies at St Paul’s University in Ottawa, will be the keynote speaker. He says he supports the blessing of same-sex unions.

“Marriage has had a development,” says Gibaut. “It is not something that has been cut in stone since day one and hasn’t changed. It’s seen huge development. And I don’t think that it is past the point of development today by any means.”

Tom Sherwood, Carleton University’s ecumenical chaplain, has consulted with Wallace about this event. He says ignorance is the enemy and celebrates the fact that events like this one are being planned.

“My experience is that discussions of faith and sexuality get quite a response from faculty and students,” he says. “It’s been a tension in Islam, it’s been a tension in Judaism and it’s been a tension in Christianity – the tension between tradition and modernity.”

Although, Sherwood is an ordained United Church minister he works with all faiths on campus. He has organized similar events where he has experienced high attendance and a commitment to engage each other respectfully.

At the end of May, the Anglican Church’s main governing body will meet. One item it will consider is a motion on the blessing of same-sex unions.


7:30pm. Fri, May 14.

St John The Evangelist Church.

(154 Somerset W; corner of Elgin St.)