Openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene
Robinson will be among the speakers to address a gay fundraiser in
The 15th annual Austin
Gala Dinner will benefit the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's
largest gay rights advocate, and take place March 20.
Robinson is the first openly gay bishop
in the Episcopal Church. His 2003 election created a firestorm of
protest within the greater Anglican Communion – of which the
Episcopal Church is the American branch – and led to a self-imposed
moratorium on the election of gay bishops.
But last July the church reversed
course, voting in favor of lifting the ban at its general convention.
Robinson is likely to be speaking soon
after the church confirms its second openly gay bishop, the Rev.
Canon Mary D. Glasspool of the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Glasspool was elected to become
suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Diocese in December. Church
rules require that a majority of the church's representatives, which
include bishops, clergy and lay persons, consent to her ascension.
As of March 4, Glasspool's confirmation lacks only 1 more vote, the
Glasspool's confirmation is certain to
once again test the bond between the Anglican Communion and its more
liberal American branch. Dr. Rowan Williams, the church's spiritual
leader, is calling on the church to adopt a two-track affiliation
that would give some churches full membership, while others,
presumably more liberal ones, would remain on the outside. A schism
in all but name.
The Episcopal Church is in the process
of developing an official blessing for gay unions. It elected in
July to give bishops in states where gay marriage is legal the
discretion to offer a blessing.
Robinson, 62, lives in Weare, New
Hampshire with his husband, Mark Andrew, and has two children from a