Maine Episcopalians elect openly gay bishop
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — The first openly gay Episcopal bishop in Maine is expected to be consecrated this June after receiving his blessing from clergy and congregants.
The Rev. Thomas James Brown was elected Saturday night by a majority of the 261 clergy members and laypeople after three rounds of balloting at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, the Portland Press Herald reports .
Brown has served as rector at the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Mass., since 2009. Before that, he served at a church in Brattleboro, Vt., and as director of alumni and church relations at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif.
The Michigan native says his views align with Maine congregants who want to articulate their faith in Jesus "while still remaining open to people of other faith and no faith."
Brown will be the third openly gay Episcopal bishop elected in the U.S. pending confirmation by other Episcopal dioceses in coming weeks.
In 2003, Gene Robinson was the first openly gay Episcopal bishop to be elected in the New Hampshire Diocese. Robinson retired in 2013.
Six years later, the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese elected the Rev. Mary Glasspool, as its suffragan bishop. She's currently an assistant bishop in the Diocese of New York.
In Maine, Brown will succeed Bishop Stephen Lane, who is retiring. The Episcopal Diocese of Maine includes about 10,000 people in 59 churches and ministries across the state.
Stories that may interest you
A thrilling state football title is helping to dilute some grief in Newtown, Connecticut, on the seventh anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School
New York City says it will pay $625,000 to resolve a lawsuit filed by a mother whose toddler was yanked from her arms by police in a widely seen online video
The town where Louisa May Alcott wrote “Little Women” is kicking off a week of events ahead of the premier of the latest movie based on the book
Hundreds of Connecticut building cleaning workers have voted to authorize a strike if a fair agreement is not reached on a new contract with local cleaning contractors