Current Affairs

US lesbian bishop Mary Glasspool is ordained

Jessica Geen May 17, 2010
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The second out gay bishop in the US has been ordained.

Mary Glasspool, 56, was ordained as assistant Los Angeles bishop at a ceremony in California on Saturday.

She is the first gay woman bishop to be ordained in America and follows Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson, who was ordained in 2003.

She was ordained alongside the other elected assistant bishop, Diane M Jardine Bruce, and the pair will be the first female assistant bishops to serve Los Angeles Bishop J Jon Bruno.

Rev Glasspool was photographed smiling widely at Saturday’s ceremony, which was accompanied by song and dance from Filipino, Chinese and African American groups.

A man and a young boy had to be ejected from the premises before the ceremony began for shouting anti-gay epithets but applause broke out when someone shouted back: “We’re praying for you.”

Rev Glasspool told a press conference on Friday that her ordination was “a benchmark for the whole church”.

She said: “We are being the church that we say we are. We’re not just saying it, we’re doing it and there’s something very powerful about that. It’s bigger than the both of us.

“So I’m looking forward with great awe as well as joy and some ‘wow’ to whatever the Holy Spirit has in mind.”

Her ordination went ahead despite a call from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to reject her.

In December, just after she was elected, he called her appointment “divisive” and suggested that diocesan bishops should not approve it.

In February, he said he was “profoundly sorry” for the way he had phrased his remarks.

Rev Glasspool has been with her partner Becki Sanderson for more than 20 years. She has served congregations in Maryland, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

She has written before of her struggle to reconcile her sexuality and her faith, saying she questioned whether she could become a clergymember during her college years and whether God loved or hated her.

More: Americas

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