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.



Loading comments...
Hide Comments

Stories that may interest you

Mass. commuters: We've had enough

A survey finds many Massachusetts commuters are so fed up with traffic congestion and transit delays that they're thinking about changing jobs or even moving out of the region

Police had body cameras off in shooting that injured woman in New Haven

Authorities say two officers involved in a shooting that injured a woman in New Haven last week had not turned on their body cameras before the shooting

Connecticut teen shot by police during traffic stop dies

An 18-year-old Connecticut man shot by police after allegedly driving toward an officer during an attempted traffic stop has died

Rhode Island sportsbooks had their best month yet in March

Rhode Island sportsbooks had their best month yet in March, thanks to bets from college basketball fans