Saturday, December 5, 2009

Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles elects lesbian as Bishop

The final results are in. The two suffragen bishop candidates elected by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles are Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Glasspool, by all accounts two very talented and energetic priests.

The historical nature of Rev Bruce's election, the first woman bishop elected by the Dio LA, will be somewhat overshadowed by Rev Glasspool's election, as Rev Glasspool is a partnered lesbian. Her election took 7 ballots. Fat, meet fire.

From the LA Times
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles today elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that sought to bar gays and lesbians from the church's highest ordained ministry.
But it was the endorsement of Glasspool that riveted much of the convention as well as the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch. Glasspool is the first openly gay priest to be elected bishop since the ordination of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in 2003.

Convention delegates said that Glasspool's sexual orientation was only one factor in their decision, which came on the seventh ballot for the position. They called her a gifted priest with extensive diocesan experience in her current role as canon -- or executive assistant -- to the bishops of the Diocese of Maryland.....

Home to 70,000 Episcopalians across six counties, the diocese is widely viewed as one of the most liberal in the U.S. church of 2.1 million members. Its bishop, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, is an outspoken advocate for the rights of gays in the church.

It was only in July of this year that the General Convention of the entire Episcopal Church affirmed that sexuality was no longer a barrier to be considered at all level of the church. As Rev Barbara Harris, the first woman Bishop in the Episcopal Church, said memorably,

"If you don't want GLBT folks as bishops, don't ordain them as deacons, better yet, be honest and say 'we don't want you, you don't belong here' and don't bestow on them the sacrament of baptism to begin with," said Harris to applause. "How can you initiate someone and treat them like they are half-assed baptized."

Updates from Walking with Integrity and the Dio LA website, and on twitter at #LAelection.

Congratulations, Los Angeles! Buckle up, folks! This is bound to stir things up.

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