Gay Man of God: The Reverend V. Gene Robinson Recounts the Scandal-Ridden Process That Led to His Confirmation as the First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop

By Freiberg, Peter | The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine), September 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

Gay Man of God: The Reverend V. Gene Robinson Recounts the Scandal-Ridden Process That Led to His Confirmation as the First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop


Freiberg, Peter, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)


There is a sign outside most if not all Episcopal churches that reads THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH WELCOMES YOU. That welcome, though, hasn't always been extended to gay worshipers and clergy in the church. Now, with the House of Bishops' August 5 vote to confirm the Reverend Canon V. Gene Robinson as the first openly gay bishop in any mainline denomination, officials of the Episcopal Church USA seem to be taking great strides toward extending a more genuine welcome. With that vote, Robinson says, the church is proving that "we mean what we say on that sign."

Not that Robinson's confirmation as bishop of New Hampshire doesn't have some Episcopalians and other members of the worldwide Anglican Communion wanting to get rid of the signs altogether. As loud as the peals of celebration have been from gay activists and parishioners at Robinson's home church in Concord, N.H., there has been an equally audible thunder of protest from church conservatives, who have threatened to break from the denomination as a result of the confirmation.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams even called a meeting of the Anglican Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church USA, in October to discuss the ramifications of the confirmation. "The anxieties caused by recent developments have reached the point where we will need to sit down and discuss their consequences," Williams says. "I hope that in our deliberations we will find that there are ways forward in this situation which can preserve our respect for one another and for the bonds that unite us."

Back home in New Hampshire, where he will be consecrated as bishop on November 2, Robinson knows of the anxieties Williams mentions. "I'm very aware of the historic part of this role," he tells The Advocate. "But that's secondary to my feeling a call to the office of bishop--from God and the people of New Hampshire. A by-product of that [calling] is breaking through this barrier, which is very exciting, and I'm really happy to be doing it for the gay and lesbian community."

As happy as he is to be breaking down barriers, Robinson may need some time to recover from the harrowing confirmation process. Elected by his diocese in June, he then faced confirmation by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops at the church's General Convention in Minneapolis. Although there have been only two bishops whose elections have been rejected by the General Convention--both in the 1870s--Robinson says he had "no idea how it would go" for him. "We were doing our best to try to count the votes."

No amount of vote counting, though, could have predicted two allegations that nearly derailed the confirmation.

After the House of Deputies confirmed Robinson by a 2-1 ratio and just before the House of Bishops prepared to take a final vote, an E-mail surfaced in which a straight man reported that Robinson had harassed him. Critics of Robinson's confirmation then charged that he was connected to a gay youth Web site that was tangentially linked to an erotic site.

Robinson requested an investigation into the charges and for the next 36 hours sequestered himself with one of his two daughters and his partner of over 13 years, Mark Andrew. "We felt it was best not to interfere or comment," he says.

The Web site was part of Outright, a gay youth group for which Robinson helped set up a Concord chapter in 1995. A quick investigation, though, showed that Robinson hadn't worked with the group since 1998 and that the Web site--which was created by Outright's Portland, Maine, chapter--wasn't launched until 2002. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Gay Man of God: The Reverend V. Gene Robinson Recounts the Scandal-Ridden Process That Led to His Confirmation as the First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.