Bishop V. Gene Robinson

Bishop V. Gene Robinson

He could have stayed home. And some say he should have. But Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire (who grew up as a Kentucky Disciple) chose to travel to the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England, to make a point: that gays are part of the Anglican Communion, and won’t be wished away or locked back in the closet.

Robinson was told by the Anglican Communion not to come, and he’s not ‘officially’ participating. Instead, he decided to go to Canterbury and make himself available to those who want to meet him in person. Even if they oppose his election as bishop on grounds that he’s openly gay and in a long-term relationship (his partner is traveling with him too).

To be fair, the Anglican Communion asked Robinson’s most vocal opponents, who are threatening a split, to stay home too.

Robinson will be available in the conference’s exhibit hall to meet with people (perhaps as sad a commentary on his exclusion as anything: i.e. “Come See the Real Live Gay Bishop!!”) He’s been invited to preach before and after the conference, and will be traveling in Scotland afterwards.

On Sunday, he was preaching at a church in Putney, England, when the service was interrupted by a man waving a motorcycle helmet and shouting “Repent!” and “Heretic!” Robinson writes about this experience in his blog, Canterbury Tales from the Fringe. He is also doing a video blog from Lambeth called The Gene Pool.

Yesterday he attended a screening of For the Bible Tells Me So, Daniel Karslake’s documentary (reviewed by DisciplesWorld, log-in required) that includes interviews with Robinson, his family, and other glbt persons and their families in the wider church.  Disciples minister Steve Kindle, founder of Clergy United for the Equality of Homosexuals, is also featured in the film.