THOUSAND OAKS (AP) — Former Lutheran bishop Paul Egertson, who advocated inclusion of gays in the church and was asked to resign after participating in ordination of a lesbian minister, has died. He was 75.

The bishop emeritus of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Southwest California Synod and a longtime member of the California Lutheran University religion faculty, died of a heart attack Jan. 5 in Thousand Oaks, the university says on its website.

The Ventura County Star was first to report his death.

Egertson was a senior lecturer at the Thousand Oaks university.

He got national attention in 2001 when he became the denomination’s first active bishop to defy church policy and join in the ordination of a noncelibate lesbian. Church elders then asked him to resign.

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