Openly Gay Candidate Emerges on Slate for Bishop in Newark

Episcopal News Service. March 19, 1998 [98-2120D]

(ENS) The Rev. Gene Robinson, canon to the ordinary in New Hampshire and executive for the New England province, is one of five candidates to emerge on the slate for bishop of Newark to succeed Bishop John Spong. He is the first openly gay priest to appear on a list of candidates in the Episcopal Church. Marge Christie, co-chair of the 24-member nominating committee, said that Robinson was "totally open," even though "he knows there will probably be more focus on him than he would like and we would like, but he's committed and we're committed to his nomination." The candidates will spend time in the diocese in May and the election will be at a special convention June 6. All bishops in the church must receive the consents of half of the standing committees in other dioceses, and half of the bishops, before they can be consecrated.