Voice for Equality: Rev. Gene Robinson
V. Gene Robinson is the ninth bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the Unisted States of America. Robinson was elected bishop in 2003 and entered office in March 2004. Before becoming bishop, he served as assistant to the retiring New Hampshire bishop.
Sep 17, 2009 at 02:54 pm
Robinson is widely known for being the first openly gay, non-celibate priest to be ordained a bishop in a major Christian denomination. His sexual orientation was privately acknowledged in the 1970s, when he studied in seminary, was ordained, married, and started a family. He went public with his sexual identity and divorced in the 1980s. When delegates to the Episcopal convention were voting on the ratification of his election, it became an issue of controversy. His election was ratified 62 to 45. His story has appeared in print and film, and in April 2009, Robinson made the Out Magazine Third Annual Power 50 list of the most influential gay men and women in the USA, landing at number 7.
Marriage equality is taking on an air of inevitability. Even the conservatives know it's going to happen; it's just a matter of when.About his efforts to help get marriage equality legalized in New Hamshire, Rev. Robinson said:
I testified about separating the legal right from the religious rite. We have gotten so confused in this country where the civil act and the religious act begin and end, because we have deputized the clergy to act for the state. The New Hampshire law says that no religious unit will have to perform a ceremony it doesn't want to. I think it's a strategy that's going to work in a lot more places.