New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene
Robinson has described being the Anglican Church's first openly gay
bishop as a “remarkable opportunity.”
In an exit interview with the AP,
Robinson, 65, said it took him a few years to realize that he had
been given a unique opportunity to advocate for equality.
“I'd been given this really
remarkable opportunity and it would be selfish of me not to be the
best steward of that opportunity,” he
said. “We went from my consecration, which set off this
international controversy, to nine years later seeing gay, lesbian
and transgender congregants welcome at all levels of the church,
Robinson, who was elected in 2003,
announced his retirement in 2010. His successor, A. Robert
Hirschfeld, takes over the pastoral staff in a ceremony at St. Paul's
Episcopal Church in Concord on Saturday, January 5.
Robinson's installment spurred
controversy in the church. He has said he received death threats.
In 2010, a second openly gay bishop,
Mary Glasspool, was elected.
“I never thought about retirement
until she was elected. Now I can move on to do other things,” he
“I leave this job loving it more than
when I started. I think the excitement about the future is finally
outweighing the grief over the loss,” Robinson said.