The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on Saturday elected the first openly gay bishop since the national church lifted a ban that kept gays out of its highest ordained ministry, a move that deepened divisions between liberals and conservatives in the faith, reports the LA Times.
Clergy and lay leaders, meeting in Riverside for their annual convention, chose the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, 55, who has been in a committed relationship with another woman since 1988, from a field of six candidates. She is a canon, or senior assistant, to the Diocese of Maryland bishops.
Glasspool’s election to fill one of two openings for suffragan, or assistant, bishop followed the selection Friday of the Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce, 53, the rector of a San Clemente church.
The two became the first women elected as bishops of the diocese in its 114-year history.
Last July, the Episcopal Church voted at its national convention in Anaheim to open the top echelons of the church to gays and lesbians.
Home to 70,000 Episcopalians across six counties, the diocese is widely viewed as one of the most liberal in the U.S. church. Its primary bishop, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, is an outspoken advocate for the rights of gays in the church.
Full story at the Los Angeles Times.