The entire story is at http://www.bpnews.net/BPFirstPerson.asp?ID=30893 Acting in open defiance to the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church has voted to end a de facto moratorium on the election and consecration of openly gay bishops. The vote -- overwhelming in both houses of the denomination's General Convention -- comes barely 6 years after the American church brought its worldwide communion to the brink of disaster. The specific language adopted by the General Convention declared the church's openness to the ordination or election of homosexual persons to "any ordained ministry." In taking this action, the Episcopal Church now signals its absolute determination to defy Scripture, tradition and the urgent cries of its own sister churches in the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch. Of course, the General Convention did not use the language of defiance in describing its own action. Instead, delegates to both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies attempted to describe the action as a way of remaining true to their church's own principles and convictions. In one sense, the delegates could make this claim with something of a straight face. After all, as speakers during the debate made clear, this action is an honest reflection of what the Episcopal Church has now become. As Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times reported: "Many delegates to the church's convention here characterized the action not as an overturning of the moratorium, but as simply an honest assertion of 'who we are.' They note that the church, which claims about two million members, has hundreds of openly gay laypeople, priests and deacons, and that its democratic decision-making structures are charged with deciding who merits ordination."