An unexpected change at the Church of the Redeemer in Astoria came when the rector left his wife and remarried, this time to a younger man, according to a published report.
The Rev. Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, 59, the Episcopal archdeacon of Queens, announced his decision over Facebook when he got married in a Los Angeles church, the New York Post reported.
He posted a beach photo with the caption, “I’m in Miami Beach with my new husband.”
Church members told the Post that Quevedo-Bosch came out as gay a month ago, and that the announcement has caused divisions within the church.
“I am aware that there have been concerns regarding my divorce and subsequent remarriage and have been in touch with my bishop and my congregation about them,” Quevedo-Bosch told the Post.
A petition to urge Quevedo-Bosch to stay at the Church of the Redeemer after he offered to resign as rector circulated among members.
“Most of the people aren’t coming anymore,” said a woman who signed the petition, “Because he’s homosexual, people have stopped coming.”
The Episcopal Church has made many moves towards supporting LGBT rights and same-sex marriage, but not without internal controversy.
Earlier in July, the US Episcopal Church voted to allow same-sex marriages in the church, but the bishop of North Dakota announced his opposition to the change.
Other breaks in the church over LGBT issues came years before, when Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, became a bishop in 2003.
Bishop Larry Provenzano, the head of the Long Island diocese including Queens, told the Post he was in contact with Quevedo-Bosch about his divorce and marriage, and that he had given his full support.
“Priests who wish to enter into same-gender marriage are approved to do so in the Episcopal Church,” he said.
Born in Cuba, Quevedo-Bosch’s LinkedIn page stated that he previously worked as an economic planner in Havana.