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Episcopal Church consecrates woman as its 2d gay bishop

Associated Press / May 17, 2010

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LONG BEACH, Calif. — The Episcopal Church has consecrated a woman as its second openly gay bishop, seven years after stirring lingering controversy by elevating a man to a similar post.

The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool of Baltimore was ordained and consecrated Saturday. It also makes her one of the first two female bishops in the 114-year history of the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Glasspool, 56, was installed at Long Beach Arena before 3,000 people, who burst into applause at the end, church spokesman Bob Williams said.

Just before the ceremony began, a man stood, 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.’’

After he was escorted out, a young boy in the same section rose holding a Bible and shouted similar slogans. Security guards also led him out.

The Rev. Canon Diane M. Jardine Bruce of San Clemente, Calif., also was ordained Saturday.

The two women were elected in December to serve as assistant bishops in the diocese’s six-county territory, but conservative Episcopalians had urged the church not to ordain Glasspool. The decision to do so highlights a continued Episcopal commitment to accept same-sex relationships despite enormous pressure from other Anglicans.

The Episcopal Church, which is the Anglican body in the United States, caused turmoil in the church in 2003 by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.

Bishop Jon Bruno, who gave a sermon at the ceremony, said he once opposed ordaining women, but now would be happily serving alongside two.

Bruno defended the church’s inclusive policies.

“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,’’ he told the audience. “The ones we disagree with most are the ones we’re obligated to share our lives and teach the most.’’