The openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church USA canceled his seat at the Oxford Union debate over the acceptability of homosexuality in the clergy.
Gene Robinson, bishop of New Hampshire, has been at the core of the debates arising within the worldwide body of Anglicans in which the ECUSA takes part. Nearly half of the 77 million Anglicans have protested the consecration of Robinson last November; 13 of 38 worldwide dioceses have already severed relations with the ECUSA for its decision to ordain Robinson.
Within the Anglican Church, a commission had been set to examine the implications of Robinson’s election.
Currently, Robinson, a divorced father of two, lives with his gay lover of 13 years. Robinson was to have appeared at the Oxford Union to justify his consecration as well as the consecration of other practicing homosexuals.
However, according the Robinson, he decided not to attend because “it would not help the church at this time.”
He was due to speak on 11 March, proposing the motion "This House believes a gay lifestyle should be no bar to becoming a bishop".