Earlier this week, two Episcopalian dioceses announced their nomination of openly LGBT priests for bishop positions. As we wrote previously, the Episcopal Church overwhelmingly voted in favor of ending a 2006 moratorium on ordaining openly gay bishops on July 14.
The Rev. Bonnie Perry, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois, is among three nominees for the Minnesota bishop position. She has been in a committed relationship with her partner, the Rev. Susan Harlow, for 22 years. Harlow is a professor at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary.
The Diocese of Los Angeles also announced the nomination of the Rev. John L. Kirkley of San Francisco and the Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool of Maryland, both of whom are in committed same-sex relationships. There are six candidates for the position of suffragan (assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Coming so soon after the slate announced by the Diocese of Minnesota, today's announcement by the Diocese of Los Angeles is another sign that the 'season of fasting' at the expense of the vocations of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church is at an end. For Minnesota and California to move so quickly after our convention, what they are doing is signaling that the resolution that we passed in Anaheim is not just a resolution but reality. The Episcopal Church is in a place where it is able to be broadly inclusive. That is good news not only for the diocese, but also the whole church.
If the candidates are elected by lay and clergy church leaders later this year, they would be the first openly gay priests to take the position of bishop since the ordination of Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003.