Every week day in June, EQUAL! is posting information on a GLBT icon.

Today’s GLBT Awareness Month icon is Gene Robinson – Religious Leader.

“It’s not so much a dream as a calling from God.”

In 2003, The Rt. Rev.V. Gene Robinson was elected bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire, making him the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. His ordination caused a global rift within the Episcopal Church and led to international debate about the inclusion of gay clergy in church hierarchy. In the weeks leading up to his consecration, Robinson received hate mail and death threats, triggering the FBI to place him under 24-hour protection.

Gene Robinson grew up outside Lexington, Kentucky. The son of poor tobacco sharecroppers, he was raised without running water or indoor plumbing. He recalls his childhood as rustic and religious, with Sunday school and services at a small Disciples of Christ congregation.

Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of the South and his Master of Divinity from the Episcopal General Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained a priest in 1973.

This information is sourced from www.glbthistorymonth.org.

(photo from Center for American Progress under Creative Commons licence)

Becoming an EQUAL! member is free and easy, simply go to EQUAL! membership page