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US lesbian bishop-elect ‘hurt’ by claims she is divisive

Jessica Geen December 9, 2009
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Rev Mary Glasspool, the lesbian Los Angeles assistant bishop who was elected last weekend, has said she is upset by claims that she is dividing the Anglican church.

Glasspool’s appointment is not yet secure and could be rejected by diocesan bishops or committees.

Hours after her election, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said it was a threat to the cohesion of the Anglican Church.

Glasspool, 55, is the first out gay bishop to be elected since 2003.

But Williams said her appointment raised “very serious questions” and suggested that diocesan bishops should reject her.

In an interview with AP, Glasspool said: “I’ve committed my life as a life of service to the people of Jesus Christ, and what hurts is the sense that anybody might have that my name or my servanthood could be perceived as divisive.”

She added that William’ comments were “a tiny bit absurd”.

Glasspool also described her election as “liberating” and said: “I’ve had hundreds, probably a thousand, emails from people all over the world who don’t know me but who are expressing through the fact of my election a pride in the Episcopal Church.”

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.

In July, Anglican clergy and laity in the US voted to reject the three-year moratorium on new gay clergy.

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

Glasspool has been in a committed relationship with her partner since 1988.

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