Conflict has intensified in the universal Anglican church over the election of homosexual priests to the episcopate. The Diocese of Los Angeles of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. announced Sunday that a gay priest and a lesbian pastor would run in the December election for bishop there. Conservative Anglicans reject homosexuals in priesthood.
Los Angeles is considered one of the most liberal dioceses of the Episcopal Church, which is part of the Anglican Communion. A total of six candidates for the episcopate are on the ballot, it was said in Los Angeles. Among them are the gay priest John Kirkley (San Francisco) and the lesbian priest Mary Douglas Glasspool from the state of Maryland.Anglicans face schism over differing views on homosexuality. The appointment of gay priest Gene Robinson as Episcopal bishop in New Hampshire in 2003 had sparked outrage among traditional Anglicans. Bishops from Africa in particular protested, arguing that homosexuality is a sin. In response, the Episcopal Church, which has about two million members, decided in 2006 to put a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual bishops.In July 2009, however, the American church passed a revision and decided that men and women of the same sex should in principle be allowed access to all church offices up to the office of bishop. Already on Saturday, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota nominated Bonnie Perry, a priest living in a same-sex partnership, to be its bishop. Minnesota votes at the end of October.