Alabama Episcopalians

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Alabama Episcopalians rejected the denomination's approval of its first openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and adopted a restricted budget that reduces funding sent to the New York headquarters.

The decision came Saturday at a state diocese meeting in Birmingham.

The resolution rejecting New Hampshire gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson and opposing same-sex unions provoked lengthy debate and passed by a 208-to-140 vote. It says, "blessings of same-sex unions and ordinations of non-celibate unmarried persons are not part of the common life of this diocese."

Bishop Henry N- Parsley, head of the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama says there are no plans to split from the church headquarters. There are about 36,000 Episcopalians in Alabama.

Parsley says because of a tight budget, the diocese will send about ten percent less money to the denomination this year, about 19 percent of its total budget.

Parsley allowed donors upset about the gay bishop decision to designate that portions of their contributions not go to the national church budget.