Saturday, January 11, 2014

A bishop: famous and notorious

A San Francisco service marking the passing of the Rt. Rev. Otis Charles takes place today. After he retired as the Episcopal bishop of Utah, Charles revealed in 1993 that he had long known he was gay, even though he'd been married to a woman for 42 years and fathered five children. He moved to San Francisco and set about exploring what his long hidden orientation meant. For several years he was part of the parish congregation where I worship, St. John the Evangelist. I didn't know the Bishop well, but for all his past accomplishment and ongoing fame (and notoriety) as "that gay Bishop," it was obvious he was living an uneasy passage in a long life.

Bishop Otis and his partner Felipe Sanchez-Paris on their way to be arrested after a California court upheld the Prop. 8 ban on same-sex marriages.
Eventually he met and married Felipe Sanchez-Paris; together they struggled publicly and vigorously for full inclusion of all -- including gays -- in the life of the church as well as for immigration reforms for all migrants. Their delight in each other and their commitment to their work for justice was inspiring. Felipe died last July; Otis followed him in December.

The Salt Lake Tribune ran a nice obituary.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

Jan: couldn't figure out your e-mail but could you maybe e-mail me?

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