The death threats have lessened over the five years since Episcopalians affirmed V. Gene Robinson’s election as their church’s first openly gay bishop. But the man who symbolizes, for many, a defiance of a traditional understanding of scripture and sexual morality will soon be in a risky spotlight again.
His first book is out this month, he will tie the civil-union knot with his male partner in June under a new state law, and he will be an uninvited bishop hanging “around the edges” this July in England during the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops.
“Going to Lambeth, though not as a participant, puts me in a certain amount of danger,” Robinson said in an interview. Robinson and his partner, Mark Andrews, wore bullet-proof vests at the bishop’s consecration in November 2003, and they had security protection for a few months before and after that event.