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Two Episcopal dioceses have nominated gay and lesbian priests in same-sex relationships to become bishops, testing a weeks-old policy and the Episcopal Church’s place within the global Anglican Communion.
The Diocese of Minnesota nominated three candidates for bishop on Saturday (Aug. 1), including the Rev. Bonnie Perry, a Chicago priest who has been in a same-gender relationship with another Episcopal priest for more than 20 years.
If Perry is elected on Oct. 31 at the Minnesota diocesan convention, she will become the second gay, partnered bishop in the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.
On Sunday, the Diocese of Los Angeles nominated six Episcopalians, including two openly gay priests to be suffragan — or assisting –bishops: the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Baltimore and the Rev. John Kirkley of San Francisco. The Los Angeles election is scheduled for December, when two bishops will be chosen from among the half-dozen nominees.
“I affirm each and every one of these candidates, and I am pleased with the wide diversity they offer this diocese,” Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno said in a statement.
The nominations come just weeks after the Episcopal Church lifted a de facto ban on openly gay bishops, despite warning that the move would threaten unity in the Anglican Communion, the world’s third-largest body of Christians. Many Anglicans view homosexuality as sinful and unbiblical.
The election of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 caused widespread dissent in the Anglican Communion. Numerous Anglicans and four U.S. dioceses have since broken ties with the Episcopal Church.
Last week, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, warned that the Episcopal Church is out of step with other Anglicans and may have to take a secondary role in the communion.
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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