'Season of Fasting' ends, Church lifts de facto ban on gays
Episcopalians took steps toward inclusion of gays and lesbians by lifting a de facto ban on openly gay bishops and supporting same-sex marriages despite warnings from church conservatives that the liberalized policies could further divide the denomination.
Just weeks after the Episcopalians, meeting in General Convention in Anaheim, voted to lift a de facto ban on openly gay and lesbian clergy, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and that of Minnesota have nominated two lesbians and one gay man for bishops.
The Minnesota Episcopal diocese was the first to announce its slate of candidates on August 1, including out lesbian Reverend Bonnie Perry of Chicago. Perry had been among the candidates in 2006 for bishop of the Diocese of California, which includes San Francisco. The Reverend Marc Andrus Handley, a straight man who is very supportive of LGBT issues, was elected bishop.
A day later, the Los Angeles Diocese followed suit, announcing its slate, which includes the Reverend John L. Kirkley, rector of St. John the Evangelist, located in San Francisco's Mission District, and the Reverend Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool of Baltimore.
"Coming so soon after the slate announced by the Diocese of Minnesota," said Integrity President Reverend Susan Russell in a written statement, "today's announcement by the Diocese of Los Angeles is another sign that the 'season of fasting' at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church is at an end."