The Episcopal Church will install a
second openly gay bishop in Los Angeles Saturday.
The ordination of Mary D. Glasspool to
become suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Los Angeles diocese will
take place at the Long Beach Arena.
Glasspool's nomination was approved by
the majority of the church's bishops and standing committees in
New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson
became the first openly gay bishop in the church in 2003.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion – of which
the Episcopal Church is its more liberal American branch – called
Glasspool's election “regrettable” and suggested the Episcopal
Church's moves threaten the bonds between the two churches.
Williams appealed to Episcopalians to
reject Glasspool's nomination in December, saying that the “decision
will have very important implications.”
Glasspool is the first openly gay
bishop to be installed since the church lifted its self-imposed
moratorium on gay clergy last July.
A gay priest is one
of four finalists vying to replace retiring Bishop Carolyn Tanner
Irish of the Utah Diocese in a special election to be held May 22.
The Rev. Michael L. Barlowe married his husband in San Francisco
during the narrow May-to-November window in 2008 when gay marriage
was legal in California. If elected, Barlowe would become the third
openly gay bishop in the church.
Glasspool, 56, and her partner, Becki
Sander, have been together over 22 years.
Conservatives in the church opposed to
openly gay clergy have formed a rival church, the Anglican Church in