A Bishop's Battle: Jon Bruno Has Been Fighting for Gays and Lesbians in His Church for Many Years. Now He's Fighting to Hold the Church Together

By Allen, Dan | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), October 26, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Bishop's Battle: Jon Bruno Has Been Fighting for Gays and Lesbians in His Church for Many Years. Now He's Fighting to Hold the Church Together


Allen, Dan, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


Overwhelmingly opposed to the pro-gay stance of Los Angeles Episcopal bishop J. Jon Bruno, leaders of three Southern California churches in August voted to remove themselves from his diocese and from the Episcopal Church. Clergy and congregants at parishes in Long Beach, Newport Beach, and North Hollywood were angered when Bruno supported last year's consecration of art openly gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as bishop of New Hampshire, and outranged when Bruno subsequently performed a union ceremony for a gay couple. Now they've asked the bishop of a conservative Anglican diocese in Uganda to govern them, and he has agreed.

But Bruno, a 57-year-old former police officer, says that's against church law, and his diocese has filed lawsuits against the rogue churches' staking claims to their physical assets, which he says belong to the Los Angeles diocese. His battle is emblematic of a widening schism that threatens the entire Anglican Communion, the international church body to which Episcopalians belong. Across the United States a small number of antigay Episcopal churches have decided to defect, and a large number have formed their own protest association.

The Advocate talked to Bruno about his situation and what it means to the church.

In light of the schism in your diocese, do you regret your decision to support Robinson?

I would be a fool to regret that decision. Gene Robinson is one of the finest priests that I've ever known and one of the finest bishops I've ever known.

There's no way, shape, or form that I could not have voted for Gene Robinson.

Why has it been so important for you to support gays and lesbians?

The fact of life is that all of us are created as the children of God and that God stands with us in solidarity and expects us to love one another. I would expect people to stand up for me because I'm a multiethnic man, a multiracial man. I would expect people to stand up for me because I am a person who is big and tall and a little heavier than I should be. …

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