The United Church of Canada has elected it’s first gay moderator.
In a historic vote, the United Church of Canada has elected its first openly gay moderator.
After six ballots and nearly eight hours of voting at the Church’s 41st general council in Ottawa on Thursday, Rev. Gary Paterson emerged from a record field of 15 candidates to win the top job at Canada’s largest Protestant church. He is thought to be the first openly gay person to head any mainstream Christian de-nomination.
The 350 voting commissioners at the general council greeted the announcement with cheers and a prolonged standing ovation, and quickly voted to make Paterson’s election unanimous.
The 63-year-old Paterson is married to Tim Stevenson, who is currently a Vancouver city councillor and who made history as the first openly gay person to be ordained in The United Church of Canada 20 years ago. In June, they celebrated their 30th year of being together. He is the father of three girls from a previous marriage and has four grandchildren.