CA Diocese Disciplines Retired Gay Bishop

( [email protected] ) May 10, 2004 07:17 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Episcopal Diocese of California revoked the license of an openly homosexual retired bishop for marrying his same-sex partner during a church ceremony in San Francisco, according to a report published Thursday by a magazine for Episcopalians.

The California diocese revoked the Rev. Otis Charles’ license to officiate as well as remove him as assisting bishop.

Currently, the Episcopal Church does not encourage same-sex unions. However, several churches in some of the diocese had privately blessed gay couples that are not permitted to marry, sparking criticism from the more conservative factions in the church.

The ECUSA, as the American branch of the worldwide Anglican communion, has been under much attack in the past few months for its extreme liberal views on homosexuality. Particularly following the ordination of Gene Robinson – an openly gay man – as bishop, the worldwide communion has been locked in a battle of maintaining the purity of the church.

More than half of the world’s Anglicans have severed ties with the American branch, but the ECUSA has not taken any major steps to resolve the conflict.

In the case of Charles, who came out as gay following his 1993 retirement at age 67, the Episcopal Bishop of California William Swing pushed for his indictment.

Oddly, Swing had been an outspoken proponent of allowing gay and lesbian “marriages” in the past. Swing use unavailable for comment.

Charles, similar to Robinson, was once in a marriage with several children. Charles was married for 42 years and has five grown children.