V. Gene Robinson

Clergyman

Born: 29 May 1947
Birthplace: Lexington, Kentucky
Best known as: The world's first openly gay Anglican bishop

Name at birth: Vicky Imogene Robinson

V. Gene Robinson is the first openly gay man ever consecrated as a bishop in the Anglican branch of Christianity. He was elected by the New Hampshire Diocese and affirmed by the U.S. Episcopal Church in 2003. Supporters called him well-qualified and a symbol of Christian openness to all. Opponents, believing the Bible prohibits homosexuality, protested by leaving, withholding funds, or joining alternative Anglican groups. Church objections from abroad caused Robinson not to be invited to the 2008 Lambeth Convention, a once-a-decade global Anglican gathering. U.S. Episcopal leaders have put a hold on elevating gay and lesbian persons to bishop.

Extra credit: Robinson's parents, Imogene and Charles Victor Robinson, chose his feminine name under pressure during a medically difficult birth, thinking the baby would not live and the gender of the name didn't matter. His birth certificate was never changed... Raised in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Robinson became an Episcopalian while attending the University of the South. He entered seminary in 1969 and was ordained a priest in 1973... He married Isabella ("Boo") Martin in 1972. He later came to terms with his homosexuality. They separated in 1986 and eventually divorced but remain friends. Their two daughters are Jamee and Ella... He has been in a committed relationship with his partner, Mark Andrew, since 1989... In 2006 Robinson shared publicly that he was being treated for alcoholism.

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