By Jenifer Goodwin
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
June 21, 2008
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego took another step toward the full acceptance of gays with the ordination of its first openly gay deacon.
San Diego Episcopal Bishop James Mathes downplayed the sexual orientation of a newly ordained deacon. During a month in which thousands of same-sex couples were able to marry in California, Thomas Wilson was ordained to the transitional diaconate by San Diego Bishop James Mathes at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral. Wilson, who moved to San Diego eight years ago with his partner of 20 years, is expected to serve as a deacon for six months to a year before becoming a priest, Mathes said.
Yet the bishop downplayed the significance of Wilson's sexual orientation. “The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego calls and ordains gifted people,” Mathes said. “That's all this is.”
Gay Episcopalians hailed Wilson's ordination as an important step in the full inclusion of all of the church's faithful and likened opposition to the outcry that accompanied the ordination of the first female priests in the 1970s.
“This is a step forward not just for gay and lesbian people but for all of those who want to be part of a church where we focus on bringing people to the table, not keeping people away from it,” said Russell, who was busy performing same-sex marriages this week.
You can read it all here ... but I'd like to add that in my interview with the reporter, she added a comment of her own that I thought was worth passing on. "I'm going to file this one away for future reference," she said. "Because years from now I'm sure I'm going to look back and say 'can you believe this was even a story in 2008?'"
"The arc of history is long,
but it bends towards justice.”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.