Associated Press, 2 Jun 04
L.A. Episcopal bishop presides over same-sex union
By GUY McCARTHY
LOS ANGELES -- A bishop at the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese blessed a
same-sex union in what is believed to be the first such action by a
sitting Episcopal bishop since the church gave its tacit approval to
such unions last August.
The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, bishop of the six-county diocese,
confirmed Tuesday that he had blessed on May 16 the union of the Rev.
Canon Malcolm Boyd, 80, and his partner of 20 years, Mark Thompson,
51. Five other bishops were present.
Church officials in Los Angeles and New York said they believed Bruno
was the first sitting bishop to preside over such a ceremony since
the church's General Convention last summer. The General Convention
also confirmed the election of an openly gay priest as Episcopal
bishop of New Hampshire.
The ceremony does not mention the words marriage or wedding. The
Episcopal Church does not sanction same-sex marriage.
Bruno told the Los Angeles Times he did not perform the blessing to
make a political statement.
"I did it because it was the blessing of two human beings who have
lived in a faithful relationship. If I trust that gay people are
fully enfranchised members of our church... I have to offer the same
rite of blessing to these people when I am asked as I would do for
any other human being," he said Tuesday.
The conservative American Anglican Council criticized Bruno's
decision in a statement released last weekend.
"These actions demonstrate that the arrogance of revisionist
Episcopal bishops knows no limits as they put the homosexual agenda
before any hope of unity in the Episcopal Church and Anglican
Communion," the council statement said.
Boyd, the author of 29 books including the best-selling "Are You
Running With Me, Jesus?," said the ceremony commemorated the 20th
anniversary of his relationship with Thompson.
"I think these battles in the different generations are waged and
probably have to be waged," Boyd told the Times. "I think we're
involved in church history right now. Apparently, just because of who
I am, I'm involved in church history again. I didn't ask for it."