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(Los Angeles, CA) — Two openly gay priests have been nominated to become bishops by Episcopal Church leaders in Los Angeles. It it one of the first dioceses to lift the ban on gays being ordained in the church. The “Los Angeles Times” reports Reverend Canon Mary Glasspool of Baltimore and Reverend John Kirkley of San Francisco are among six candidates nominated to be bishop. Two will be chosen in a December election at the Los Angeles diocese’s convention.

With the nominations, the split between theological conservatives and those pushing for modern change in the Episcopal Church is expected to widen. Since 2003, when a gay priest was consecrated in New Hampshire, a number of parishes and four dioceses have broken off from the national church and formed an allegiance with the global Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church in the U.S. is home to 2.1 million members.

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