WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church told a Purdue University audience he believes God is leading people to a deeper understanding of homosexuality.
Retired New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson spoke Sunday at the opening of a two-day diversity event at the West Lafayette campus.
The Journal & Courier reports Robinson said that families with gay youth are often thrown into confusion with the conflict between love for the children and long-held beliefs of terrible things about homosexual people.
“It was not all that long ago — 20 years maybe, certainly 30 years ago — where most Americans would tell you that they didn’t know anyone gay or lesbian … what they would have meant is that they didn’t know anyone who unashamedly and rather generously would let you know that they were a person in a same-gendered relationship,” he said.
“Now, is there a family living in America that doesn’t know some family member, some coworker or some former classmate who is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? There are people going back to their 30th and 40th reunions … and their good old buddy Jack is now Jackie.
“So if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will. It’s coming to a theater near you.”
Robinson’s consecration as a bishop in 2003 created an international uproar in the Anglican church and led conservative Episcopalians to break away from the main church in the U.S. He stepped down in January.