Glasspool election: What comes next

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  Yours truly spent all Saturday afternoon tracking a bishop election 3,000 miles away because 1. the candidate is from our circulation area (Annapolis) and 2. she’s the first lesbian Episcopal bishop. There is one gay bishop already - V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire - who was elected 2003. My Glasspool story can be read here.

   It was about 6 years ago last month that I flew to New Hampshire to see his consecration. There were protestors outside. The new bishop wore a bullet-proof vest. It was cold, rainy weather. People came to the microphone to protest the goings-on.

   I don’t expect any of that to happen six months from now when Mary Glasspool will be consecrated May 15 in Los Angeles. 1. The weather will definitely be better; 2. most of the folks who protested in New Hampshire have long since left the Episcopal Church. The only question is which of 100 domestic Episcopal dioceses will withhold consent. A bishop-to-be needs a simple majority or 56. There’s no reason to believe it won’t happen.

   As I talked with clergy from the Los Angeles diocese this week, one major factor kept on cropping up; how irrelevant Mary Glasspool’s lesbianism was to nearly all the delegates gathered at the Riverside Convention Center. More people seemed to have a problem with the fact that she wasn’t Latino and a Latino candidate nearly defeated her. He took majorities in the laity category but he could not crack the clergy vote and eventually Ms. Glasspool managed to snag enough laity - on the seventh ballot - to win.

   A lot of water has gone under the bridge since the Robinson election, notably that several states have legalized gay marriage since then. So the fact Ms. Glasspool has a partner of 21 years standing doesn’t seem to matter any more.

- Julia Duin, religion editor

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About the Author
Julia Duin

Julia Duin

Julia Duin is the Times' religion editor. She has a master's degree in religion from Trinity School for Ministry (an Episcopal seminary) and has covered the beat for three decades. Before coming to The Washington Times, she worked for five newspapers, including a stint as a religion writer for the Houston Chronicle and a year as city editor at the ...

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