N.H. Episcopalians may elect second gay bishop

CONCORD, N.H. -- Nine years after electing the first openly gay bishop in the history of their church, causing a rift in the worldwide Anglican Communion that remains unrepaired, New Hampshire Episcopalians may choose a second gay man as their leader.

The Rev. William W. Rich, a senior associate rector at Trinity Church in Boston and a married gay man, is one of three priests nominated by a Diocese of New Hampshire search committee to succeed Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who is retiring.

About 200 clergy and elected lay delegates will vote by secret ballot in Concord on May 19. The Rev. Adrian Robbins-Cole, president of the Standing Committee, a diocesan advisory board, declined to handicap the vote but speculated most delegates will see the nominees’ sexuality as irrelevant.

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