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Panel OKs gay Episcopal bishop

Aug. 1, 2003 at 10:34 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- The Episcopal Committee on Consent of Bishops Friday approved an openly gay reverend to become bishop, CNN reported.

The appointment of the Rev. Gene Robinson to bishop must now be ratified by both the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.

Robinson, who has been serving as assistant to the bishop of New Hampshire, won election to the post of bishop in a vote by his own diocese in June.

The ratification of Robinson's election set off a worldwide controversy among members of the Anglican Church, of which the U.S. Episcopal church is a part.

Robinson's opponents have warned that his approval as an elected bishop would split the Episcopal Church while alienating the U.S. church from the world Anglican community.