Newsweek's Lisa Miller used the recent election of the second openly gay Episcopalian bishop to triumphantly claim in an April 16 article, “even diehard conservatives concede that the battle over gay rights (if not gay marriage) is more or less over.”
Last month, the Episcopal Church in America voted to consecrate Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool as Los Angeles Bishop Suffragon. Miller noted “to date, her election has generated astonishingly few headlines,” and took that as proof of “Americans' disinterest” in Glasspool's sexuality.
“The Catholic news explosion can't take all the blame for the Americans' disinterest in Glasspool,” argued Miller, for those who think the media can handle only one religion controversy at a time. “Their disinterest – in her sexuality at least – is genuine.”
Miller briefly noted the 2003 controversy over the election of the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop, V. Gene Robinson before describing how far Americans have progressed, in her view, on the issue of homosexuality:
In seven short years, attitudes have changed – dramatically. Polls show that support for gays in the military, gay marriage, and civil unions has been, for most of this decade, steadily rising. Even diehard conservatives concede that the battle over gay rights (if not gay marriage0 is more or less over. Half of Americans have a close friend or a family member who is gay, according to a 2009 CNN poll.
Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, “the highest Episcopalian cleric in the land,” told Miller, “We claim a faith that has a vision of what civilization ought to look like, called the reign of God, or the kingdom of God. When current reality is dramatically divergent from that vision, most of us feel it's our responsibility to advocate for a different vision.”
Miller apparently liked that idea, as she wondered, “And it was perhaps, this Christian vision that allowed [Schori] – and those who elected Glasspool – to overlook a warning that came from their superior, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, back in December.”
Williams warned in December that electing Glasspool as a bishop “poses very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.”