Despite the near
certainty of death threats and more outcry from other
religious and conservative groups, Episcopal bishop Gene
Robinson plans to enter into a civil union with his
partner on Saturday at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in
Concord, N.H. The ceremony will take place just before
the church's biggest ecclesiastical conference -- which
Robinson was barred from attending -- because, he
says, it is what God asks of him.
life is at stake, you learn that there are things in life
that are much worse than death," Robinson said
on the Today show on Thursday. "That's the
great reward of being a Christian. Not living your
life -- that's worse than death. And if
something were to happen to me, I would know that I am
doing what I discern God is calling me to do."
In 2003, Robinson
was elected by New Hampshire congregations as the
Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop. He will join
with Mark Andrew, his partner of 20 years, to
obtain legal protections for his partner and two
daughters from a previous marriage.
"I am simply not
going to...put my life in jeopardy without putting
into place the protections for my beloved partner and my
children and my grandchildren that are offered to me
in a civil union," Robinson said on Today. "I
think any husband or wife would want to do that."
was consecrated, nearly 100 of the 8,000 Episcopal
churches in the U.S. have split with the American faction
and aligned with the highly conservative Anglicans in
Africa. (The Advocate)