WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign expressed both sadness and optimism at the announcement from Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the Episcopal Church, that he would retire from his position in early 2013. HRC recognizes the tremendous voice that Bishop Robinson has been for LGBT Americans in faith communities, and looks forward to the work that he will continue after his retirement from the Diocese of New Hampshire.
On November 6, Robinson announced his intention to retire from his role as Bishop in January of 2013 to pursue a greater role in worldwide evangelism and in his work with LGBT advocacy. Robinson expressed that he would continue to commit his full energy to his diocese until that date. Robinson’s retirement will come at the culmination of 35 years in the diocese, nine of which will have been spent as Bishop, and a career devoted to physical and spiritual wellness – including immense work on AIDS education and prevention.
"Bishop Robinson has been among the chief spiritual leaders in the movement for LGBT freedom,” said HRC Religion and Faith Program Director Rev. Harry Knox. “His courage, poise, and grace in the face of vitriolic attacks on his humanity and faith have made him a model by which the rest of us judge our daily actions. We rejoice that he and his husband Mark are anticipating more time together in Bishop Gene's retirement and that our esteemed bishop will be free to do even more advocacy on behalf of LGBT justice beginning in 2013."
Bishop Robinson was a founding member of HRC’s Religion Council, a group of religious leaders offering a prophetic voice to issues critical to the LGBT community and committed to equal rights for all Americans. Additionally, Robinson has recently lent his voice to the “It Gets Better” project, a video-based campaign addressing bullying and suicide among LGBT youth.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.