The assistant bishop-elect of Los Angeles, Mary Glasspool, has cleared an important hurdle in the confirmation process.

An unofficial tally shows she has received more than the required majority of consents to be confirmed as bishop. It was thought that some dioceses could object to her selection on the grounds of her sexual orientation.

Presiding bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has yet to verify the count.

Rev Glasspool, currently a Maryland canon, needed 56 consents to be confirmed. She received 61.

Los Angeles Bishop Diocesan J Jon Bruno told the Episocal News Service: “I look forward to the final few consents to come in from the bishops in the next few days, and I give thanks for the fact that we as a church have taken a bold step for just action.”

Rev Glasspool, 56, is expected to be consecrated on May 15th. She will be only the second out gay bishop to be consecrated, after Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson in 2003.

She has been in a committed relationship with her partner since 1988 and has been ordained for 28 years, having served congregations in Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.