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Utah Episcopal Bishop Says Gays Have Place in Ministry

Utah Episcopal Bishop Says Gays Have Place in Ministry

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The leader of Utah's Episcopal community says gay members and clergy will never again be disqualified from ministry.

The Right Reverend Carolyn Tanner Irish of the Diocese of Utah says such a reversal would tell gays and lesbians to go back into the closet and live lives of deceit and dishonesty.

Her reaction came after an Anglican Communion commission in London this week sharply criticized the American Episcopal church for consecrating Gene Robinson -- an openly gay man -- as a bishop.

Irish also is calling for the formation of same-sex blessing rites within the Utah diocese.

This comes just as the state's largest church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, issued a statement yesterday saying marriage should only be between one man and one woman.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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