The lesbian bishop recently elected in the U.S. insisted Wednesday night that there would be no “closing of the door” on the question of equal rights for homosexuals, the Times of London reported.

She said that evangelical opponents of homosexuals in the Church were more concerned about power and authority than with sexuality.

Canon Mary Glasspool, 55, whose election as an assistant bishop in the Los Angeles diocese has led to protests from conservatives worldwide, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, said that the issues at the heart of the debate tearing the Anglican Communion apart were not really about sex. What was at stake had more to do with power, authority and a postcolonial Church.

She said that support for the liberal policies of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. had spread worldwide, including to Africa, traditionally a religiously conservative continent. She is the second openly homosexual bishop to be elected in the U.S., after Bishop Gene Robinson in New Hampshire in 2003.

Speaking to The Times in her first interview with a British media organization since her election on Saturday night, she said that she prayed every day for Dr. Rowan Williams, who before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury had expressed liberal views on sexuality but has since moved towards the conservative end of the debate.

Canon Glasspool, who has lived with the same female partner since 1988, remained hopeful that the Anglican Communion would survive: “We want to be a part of the Anglican Communion. But we are no longer willing to close the door to a significant number of people who look to the Episcopal Church for leadership.”

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