Synod 2022 Sexuality Vote?
September 19, 2022
Updated November 9, 2022
6 comments 1383 views
Information has been available as to the vote totals on the sexuality report at Synod 2022. Is information available as to a recording of who placed the vote: by name, region, and classis?
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I'm pretty sure the answer is no.
Negative votes can be recorded if the voter requests it and then they're printed in the minutes.
Vote totals can be requested if someone asks for them.
I do not believe individuals voting record is kept and that's what would be required for the information you're asking for.
Benjamin already answered, but no, they don't release individual votes.
In the Acts of Synod, you can find the names of those who registered official No votes. But that's not all the no votes. And it doesn't list yes votes either.
It's probably for the best that they don't, if you ask me!
I, myself, proudly cast my Yes vote in support of the HSR and the Bible's understanding of "unchastity".
Thanks for your question.
The synodical services office (responsible for planning and implementing synod) does not retain voting records when the vote is cast electronically. Only the vote count appears on the screens of the officers and voting system operator (no name or classis associated with each vote). Delegates may "hear" how a nearby delegate votes when the vote is done by "voice." But, these voice votes are not recorded or retained in the minutes in any way - only noted if adopted or defeated.
A delegate has the right, per our Rules for Synodical Procedure to register their negative vote. The name and classis of delegates who register a negative vote are recorded in the minutes of synod (Acts of Synod).
Anyone know what is the point of registering a negative vote at an ecclesiastical assembly? Why do we allow this? Where did it originate? In secular parliamentary process is it not to show constituents which way their elected official voted, an accountability loop so to speak? Is that what is going on at church assemblies? I'm not a fan of using this at Council, Classis or Synod.
I don't know exactly when it started, but it goes back a relatively long time. The Acts of Synod 1939 (p.166) show that "Five members of the Board asked to have their negative votes recorded and reserved the right to present their dissenting views on the matter to Synod."
Negative votes are typically recorded so members of assembly can voice their disagreement or dissent at a later time. If you do not register a negative vote as a member of an assembly, you are not allowed to speak against the decision of the assembly publicly.
If we were to record -- and make publicly available -- those who voted for or against any recommendation, that would politicize and polarize our synod.
Synod is a deliberative body. Classes send their delegates and, collectively and prayerfully, make decisions. Some of those decisions are minor in nature and some are rather significant.
With respect to the HSR report, we can say with all integrity that "Synod (ie the Church) has spoken". Collectively, it's one voice and one decision.
To discuss and debate who voted for or against the report would be to politicize the process. I firmly believe that this was a prayerful, Holy Spirit-led process. If I can't believe that, then Synod and the CRCNA have lost its integrity.
Human nature is tempted to break down the stats: ie how did Canadian/American delegates vote? How did the younger demographic vote compared to the older demographic? That's a dangerous and fruitless game to play. Hopefully, we didn't meet as a group of individual delegates determined to get our way. But rather, as church-sent delegates to discern God's will around the issues.
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