The Episcopal Church has approved the election of a second openly gay bishop, a move certain to increase tensions among liberal and conservative voices inside the church.

On Wednesday, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles announced that the nomination of Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool to become suffragan (assistant) bishop of the diocese had received the needed number of consents from bishops. Last week, Glasspool's final lap came within sight as the diocese announced that a majority of diocesan standing committees had agreed to her ascension.

“I am … aware that not everyone rejoices in this election and consent, and will work, pray and continue to extend my own hands and heart to bridge those gaps, and strengthen the bonds of affection among all people, in the name Jesus Christ,” Glasspool said in a statement.

Los Angeles Bishop Rev. J. Jon Bruno said the church “must move forward and respect the dignity of all human beings which is called for in our Baptismal Covenant and canons,” in a statement released soon after Glasspool's nomination in December.

Glasspool's ordination is scheduled to take place on May 5 at the Long Beach Arena.

The 2003 ordination of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson tested the bond between the 77 million-member Anglican Communion and its more liberal American branch, the Episcopal Church, and led to a self-imposed moratorium on the election of gay bishops.

The church reversed course last July when it voted in favor of lifting the ban at its general convention. Within six months the Los Angeles diocese had nominated Glasspool.

Dr. Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, appealed to Episcopalians to reject Glasspool, saying that the “decision will have very important implications.”

“The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold,” he added.

Other church conservatives have been more forceful.

“I understand that homosexual people are real people who need loving commitment to Christ and helping to live faithful lives,” Rev. Robert Forsythe, bishop of the South Sydney diocese, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in December. “But to endorse this as a leader of the church sends in my view entirely the wrong message and is inconsistent with discipleship to Christ.”

Forsythe, a vocal opponent of gay clergy, predicted Glasspool's election would permanently split the Anglican Community.

Rev. Kendall Harmon of the Diocese of South Carolina said the church had caused “tragic damage” to itself in electing Glasspool and the action was “grieving the heart of God.”

Glasspool, 56, and her partner, Becki Sander, have been together over 22 years.

Robinson, 62, who lives in Weare, New Hampshire with his husband Mark Andrew, will be among the speakers to address a gay fundraiser on Saturday in Austin, Texas.