New gay Episcopal bishop is a step forward
by Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star Editorial Page columnist
The selection of an openly gay woman bishop in Los Angeles is another step forward for the Episcopal Church.
It's surely a move that will irritate conservative followers of my faith. But it was also the right move.
The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool was qualified for the bishop position in Los Angeles. She also was selected over five other candidates for the job.
The fact that she happened to be gay should not have -- and did not -- disqualify her from winning the position.
The stories announcing the selection also have pointed out that Glasspool has been in a relationship with another woman for 21 years.
I see the inclusion of that fact as a response to conservatives who constantly wonder whether gay people can be in longterm relationships. Yes, they can -- just like straight couples.
After her election, Glasspool had a wonderful comment:
"I believe the people of the diocese, by the grace and power and influence of the Holy Spirit, went beneath skin deep, went beneath the superficial characteristics and boxes into which we put people to really look at individual people."
The Episcopal Church came in for much criticism from other Christians as well as from some of its own member churches six years ago when V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire was selected as its first openly gay bishop.
There was a moratorium on more gay bishops imposed after that, but that prohibition recently was set aside.
And now the Episcopal Church has taken another step forward with the selection of its second openly gay bishop.