Gene Robinson at a stall at the Lambeth Conference 2008Huge strides towards gay equality have been made in secular society in the USA. Full gay marriage is still the exception rather than the rule among the States of America – and where granted it tends to blip in and out of existence in a series of complex legal challenges.

Even so, polls show that American society is becoming more and more gay friendly – with the youngest generations being most likely to be accepting of gay identities.

It was against this background that in 2003. Canon Gene Robinson, a partnered gay man, was elected bishop of New Hampshire by the Episcopalian Church in the USA (ECUSA).

The subsequent storm reverberated across the Anglican Communion, particularly in African countries where homosexuality is not socially accepted.  Meanwhile some conservative parishes in the USA sought oversight from African bishops in protest at Gene Robinson’s consecration.

The Lambeth Commission and the Windsor Report formed the Anglican communion’s response to these events.  The Bishop of New Hampshire himself commented ‘ [KS found a really good quote somewhere to the effect that the horse had bolted, and that his stepping down wouldn’t make the issue go away….now can’t find it. Drat.]

In 2009 the Rev Canon Mary Glasspool was elected suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Los Angeles.


Explore stories from our News Archive about Gene Robinson,  and the USA for a more complex picture of how the politics have developed.

Read more about the USA in our Global Human Rights Directory.

Lesbian and Gay Christians in the US are represented by Integrity USA.  Explore their website here.

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