2 Gay candidates vie for California bishop opening

Angela D’Amboise | February 28, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO — The battle over homosexuality in the Episcopal church wages on as two openly gay priests are among the candidates to become bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California.

The Rev. Bonnie Perry, rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, and the Rev. Robert Taylor of Seattle are among the five candidates. Each has a same-sex partner, reports Reuters.

The church has been in a battle over the issue of gay clergy since 2003, when the Rev. Gene Robinson, who has a male partner, was elected bishop of New Hampshire.

The Robinson is currently seeking treatment for alcoholism in a rehabilitation facility.

Each province within the Anglican Communion can make its own decisions regarding gay bishops, as was decided the following years at a panel of the global Anglican Communion, which includes the U.S. Episcopal Church and 77 million people in 164 countries.

"There's nothing really the Anglican Communion can do to us, but they can say they're no longer in communion with us,'” said Sean McConnell, spokesman for the Diocese of California.

While leaders of the Episcopal Church have apologized for the divisions caused by Robinson's elevation to bishop, they have not expressed regret over his election.

The Rev. Paul Zahl, dean of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa., said that if either of the gay candidates is chosen as the new bishop, it's a "definitive thumbing of the nose at the worldwide church."

The election is scheduled for May 6 in San Francisco. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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