Two gay Episcopal priests are among the six nominated candidates for the role of assistant bishop of Los Angeles.

The Rev John L Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland are both in committed same-sex relationships.

Their nominations come two weeks after Anglican clergy and laity in the US voted to reject a three-year moratorium on the consecration of gay clergy.

The appointment will be voted on in December.

Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno said in a statement yesterday: “I affirm each and every one of these candidates and am pleased at the wide diversity they offer this diocese.”

The Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota has also announced a lesbian has been nominated as a a bishop.

The Rev Bonnie Perry of Chicago, who lives with her partner of 22 years, is one of three candidates.

Divisions over gay bishops began in 2003, when the openly gay Gene Robinson, of New Hampshire, was consecrated. His appointment caused deep rifts between liberals and traditionalists.

In the last three years, the Anglican Communion has been pushing the Episcopal Church to “restrain” the numbers of gay bishops in order to avoid a split in the Anglican church. No new gay bishops have been consecrated in this time.

The Episcopal Church will only ordain gay and lesbian bishops in committed relationships, rather than those who are single.