Sweden's Lutheran church names first lesbian bishop‎

Stockholm, Sweden - Sweden's Lutheran church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, just two weeks after it gave clergy the right to wed same-sex couples.

Eva Brunne became bishop of Stockholm's diocese in a ceremony Sunday.

She lives in a "registered partnership" with another woman, a civil union between gays used in Sweden before same-sex marriages were legalized this year. The couple also has a child.

"It is very positive that our church is setting an example here and is choosing me as bishop based on my qualifications, when they also know that they can meet resistance elsewhere," the 55-year-old Brunne told The Associated Press by phone.

Brunne's spokeswoman Annika Sjoqvist Platzer said she didn't know of any openly gay women who had reached the position of bishop in other countries.

In 2003, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the U.S., caused an uproar in the global Anglican fellowship by consecrating the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. The 77 million-member Anglican Communion is now on the brink of schism.

Brunne was elected as bishop of Stockholm in May, then ordained Sunday in Uppsala Cathedral. She said hadn't encountered much resistance within the church over her sexual orientation.

The Church of Sweden has become more open toward sexual minorities in recent years, though there still is resistance from individual clergy. Former Archbishop Gunnar Weman protested Brunne's elevation in a statement to the Christian newspaper Dagen, saying it "is not compatible" with Holy Scripture.

The Church of Sweden counts about 6.7 million members though few of them regularly attend services in the largely secular Scandinavian country.