Bishop Gene Robinson: I wish I could marry my partner

Bishop Gene Robinson has said he would marry his partner “in a minute” if he had the chance. Two days before he become bishop of New Hampshire, he said that the gay marriage issue was one of civil rights. He said, “It is very irritating to me that Britney Spears, when she traipsed off to be married in Las Vegas, instantly had what my partner and I of 15 years do not have.”

Bishop Gene Robinson testified at the New Hampshire statehouse opposing a proposed law that would ban the state from recognising gay marriages approved by other states. He said he would continue to speak out in favour of civil unions for gays – something he said was entirely separate from whether any church chose to bless the union. Robinson said the legal status of his own relationship with his long-time partner, Mark Andrew, especially worried him before Andrew’s family accepted him. “I had a great fear that if Mark was to be killed in a car accident that his family could come in and just take his body – that I would never have access to him either in the hospital or at the funeral home or at the grave,” Robinson said. “That’s an unnerving thing. I’d be married in a minute if I was allowed to.”

In the absence of marriage or civil union, Robinson and Andrew put together legal agreements to give each other power of attorney and to share their assets through trusts. But these cover only a fraction of the rights they would have if their relationship was recognised by the state, he said.

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