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Gay English Bishop Derek Rawcliffe Dies At 89

LONDON (AP) - Derek Rawcliffe, the first Church of England bishop to be open about his homosexuality, has died at age 89.

St. Aidan's Church in Leeds, northern England, which will celebrate a requiem mass for Rawcliffe on Sunday, says he died on Feb. 1.

Rawcliffe disclosed his homosexuality on television in 1995, when he was serving as an honorary bishop in Ripon and Leeds diocese. He was dismissed the following year for conducting blessings of same-sex couples.

However, he remained active in ministry at the Leeds church and was allowed to preside at some confirmation services.