Today on “Days to Remember” we celebrate the first gay bishop named Rev. V. Gene Robinson which was consecrated the next bishop of New Hampshire and the first openly gay prelate in the Episcopal Church U.S.A. which was on November 2nd 2003, laying the groundwork for a split in the American church and a break with fellow Anglican churches abroad.
The nearly 4,000 people in an arena at the University of New Hampshire rose to their feet, applauding, cheering and whistling. After Bishop Robinson quieted them, he said, ”It’s not about me; it’s about so many other people who find themselves at the margins.”
The consecration went ahead despite warnings from the primates who lead Anglican churches in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America that a gay bishop would not be recognized in their churches, and would prompt them to break ties.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, released a statement on Sunday night that acknowledged the Americans’ right to choose their own bishops but also lamented the Americans’ disregard for the objections of their more conservative church cousins in other parts of the world.
The controversy over homosexuality has sharpened a long-brewing power struggle between the more established branches of the Anglican Communion, which include the Church of England and the Episcopal Church U.S.A., and what were once the mission churches in the developing world.
Nevertheless, the consecration was a vindicating moment for many Episcopalians who have long hoped the church would formally acknowledge the many gay men and lesbians who are priests, deacons and laypeople.
Outside the arena, a small group of antigay protesters who held signs that said ”God Hates Fags” faced off against a far larger crowd of supporters, among them many students and members of other churches.
”Homosexuality is something that exists within the church already, and I think it’s wonderful that he has decided to confront it and step forward, but I truly believe God created our skin tone with beautiful variety but all our soul are same color and the same beauty no matter what our sexual preferences are as we celebrate the first gay bishop on November 2nd.
In the words of Mr. Spock, “Live long, and prosper.”
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell