Episcopal Church Makes History with First Openly Lesbian Bishop

Bishop-elect Mary Glasspool
Bishop-elect Mary Glasspool
The Episcopal Church continued their bold year of inclusion tonight by electing a partnered openly lesbian priest to the office of Bishop. Mary Glasspool (now bishop-elect) was elected in the Los Angeles diocese on the seventh ballot with 62.5% of clergy and 52.9% of lay delegates voting for her election. Bishop-elect Glasspool’s election still needs to be consented to by the Standing Committees and the Bishops before her election is final.

Bishop-elect Glasspool is the second openly LGBT person to be elected to this position. In 2003 the New Hampshire diocese election of Bishop Gene Robinson.

IntegrityUSA, the LGBT activism group working within the Episcopal Church, released this statement a few moments ago.

“Integrity salutes the election of the Reverend Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool as a bishop suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles, and as the second openly gay partnered bishop in the Episcopal Church.” said Integrity President David Norgard. “Bishop-elect Glasspool brings to the diocese her experience of building strong congregations by providing pastoral care, vocational guidance, and support to clergy and their families. She brings to the House of Bishops her commitment to social justice. And she will bring to the Anglican Communion an incarnational witness to the Episcopal Church’s commitment to fully include all of the baptized into the Body of Christ. ”

“It takes both a courageous candidate and a courageous community to fully embrace inclusion and to be prepared for the public attention this historic opportunity offers the Episcopal Church and the United States of America at this time,” said Norgard. “Today’s election means the Episcopal Church has taken another step toward the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments becoming a reality in the Episcopal Church–not just a resolution of General Convention.

“As Episcopalians, we are proud of the historic links between the founders of our church and the uniquely American democratic process that influences our church polity. We are very different from the Church of England and the Church of Rome, and we rejoice that lay members are valued for their significant role in the choosing of our leadership, and empowered to stand as radical witnesses that can heal past discrimination and prejudice.

“Integrity now calls upon Standing Committees and Bishops with jurisdiction to claim that proud history and consent to today’s election. For now, we pause to rejoice in this election. This is a big day for California, for their bishop-elect and, for the whole Church.”

Congratulations to Bishop-elect Glasspool, to the Los Angeles diocese, to the Episcopal Church, and to the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Bold steps toward justice are always controversial and usually difficult. You are leading the rest of us in such a brave and truly Godly way. We, the Church Universal, and we, the LGBT community, are forever in your debt.