Two protesters created a disturbance
Saturday as Episcopalians installed their second openly gay bishop in
A crowd of over 3,000 lined into the
Long Beach Arena to witness the ordination of the Rev. Mary D.
Glasspool, of Baltimore, as suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Los
Angeles diocese during a three-hour service, themed Rejoice!
Glasspool, 55, whose nomination was
approved by the majority of the church's bishops and standing
committees in March, has been in a committed relationship with Becki
Sanders for over 22 years.
“The world's transformed only if we
turn to each and every one of our brothers and sisters and see the
face of Christ superimposed on them,” Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno,
a co-consecrator, told the audience. “The ones we disagree with
the most are the ones we're obligated to share our lives and teach
Two protesters rose to protest
Glasspool's installation. One man disrupted the service just as it
was about to get underway. He was escorted out of the building as he
shouted about the need to repent and held up a sign that read “Do
not be deceived, homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Security guards also removed a young
boy who rose holding a Bible and shouted a similar protest, National
Public Radio reported.
Glasspool has acknowledged that her
ascension would not be welcomed by everyone.
“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 of Jesus
Christ,” Glasspool said in March.
Among the bishops in attendance was New
Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who became the first openly gay
bishop in the church in 2003. Robinson, 62, lives in Weare with his
husband Mark Andrew.
Robinson's ordination created a deep
divide 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.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan
Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, called
Glasspool's election “regrettable” and suggested the Episcopal
Church's moves threaten the bonds between the two churches.
However, the church is not backing
down. 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.
Conservatives in the church opposed to
openly gay clergy have formed a rival church, the Anglican Church in