National gay magazine honors New Hampshire Episcopal bishop

Posted: Friday, December 26, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) A national gay magazine has named as its person of the year New Hampshire's new Episcopal bishop, the denomination's first openly gay prelate.

The Advocate says Bishop Gene Robinson is a symbol in the battle to move religion away from hatred and exclusion and toward love and equality.

Robinson's consecration has opened a conservative-liberal rift that threatens to split the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, but the bishop ''has handled the resulting anger from conservative Christians with poise and eloquence,'' the magazine said on its Web site. He has maintained a ''steadfast focus on his mission to open God's church to all people on the margins,'' it said.

In an interview with the magazine, Robinson said he wants to make the most of the attention he is getting.

''As long as I've got the attention of the world's media, I'm going to use it for the church and I'm going to use it for God,'' Robinson said.

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