Episcopal Church

Lesbian Bishop Elected in L.A.

An openly gay bishop was elected Saturday by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, the first since the national church lifted a ban on gays and lesbians from its highest ordained ministry after the 2003 ordination of the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Meeting for their annual convention, clergy and lay leaders selected the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, who has been in a committed relationship with a woman since 1988. Robinson's election six years ago threw the church into turmoil, as members of the Anglican Communion around the world reacted strongly against the ordination of a gay person. The Episcopal Church sought to limit the rise of gay and lesbian priests for a time, in order to prevent a civil war within the church, but the move did not stem the growing disenchantment of conservatives. Glasspool, along with the Rev. Canon Diane Jardine Bruce, who was selected Friday, also became one of the first two women to be elected of bishops of the diocese in its 114-year history.