LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two Episcopal priests in same-gender relationships are among the nominees for assistant bishop of Los Angeles, officials said Sunday.
The Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland will be among six candidates on the ballot when lay people and clergy vote in December, despite a long-standing request from world Anglican leaders for a moratorium on consecrating openly gay bishops.
Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno said in a statement Sunday that he was “pleased by the wide diversity” of the nominees. Separately, the Diocese of Minnesota on Saturday announced that a lesbian was among its three candidates for bishop. That election is set for October 31.
The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States.
The nominations were announced just over two weeks after the Episcopal General Convention voted to effectively drop a pledge that it would act with “restraint” when considering any more openly gay candidates for bishop.
“What happened really is we gave the green light for dioceses to do the right thing,” said the Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity USA, an Episcopal gay advocacy group.
Episcopalians caused an uproar in 2003 by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Anglican leaders responded by asking the U.S. denomination for a temporary ban on consecrating any more gay bishops while they tried to reach a compromise that could keep the 77 million-member Anglican Communion unified.
No other bishop living openly with a same-sex partner has been consecrated since then.
Each Episcopal diocese elects local bishops. Church leaders must then signal their approval before the winner can be consecrated.