NEW YORK (AP) — Episcopalians declared gays and lesbians eligible for "any ordained ministry" Tuesday, a vote expected to upset world Anglican leaders who had sought a clear moratorium on consecrating another gay bishop.
Leaders of the Episcopal Church, the Anglican province in the United States, insisted they were still committed to membership in the Anglican Communion. Some Anglican leaders, however, predicted the vote would break their fellowship.
The Episcopal General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, Calif., gave final approval to the measure during their once-every-three-years legislative assembly, which runs through Friday.
"God has called and may call" gays in committed relationships to "any ordained ministry" in the church, the resolution says.
Lay people voted 78-21 and clergy voted 77-19 to approve the measure. The House of Bishops had earlier voted 99-45 to adopt the statement. In the debates, delegates said they worried about the reaction of other Anglicans, but felt a duty to vote yes.
"I personally believe we had to do this," said John Cheek, a delegate from the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, based in Springfield. "It's the way we see the Gospel." Read complete article - AP Associated Press -