(Manchester, New Hampshire) Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church is accusing conservative elements within the worldwide Anglican faith of twisting his words to imply he said Jesus was gay.
Robinson took part in a February 13 forum on sexual issues at Christ Church in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. In his remarks Robinson said that Jesus was an unmarried, "non-traditional man", "traveled with a bunch of men" and enjoyed an especially close relationship with one of his disciples.
The forum and Robinson's remarks went generally unnoticed until Sunday when the conservative British paper The Independent accused the bishop of "suggesting that Jesus might have been homosexual."
The article was published in the aftermath of the death of Pope John Paul II and was seized upon up by conservatives within the Anglican Church who are waging a war against Robinson and gays in the Church.
Robinson Tuesday denied that his remarks were meant to be interpreted as suggesting that Jesus might be gay and says that he is receiving a flood of hate messages.
“I can assure you with absolute certainty that was not my implication, and certainly not anything I ever said,” Bishop V. Gene Robinson told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “I am furious for my remarks to be interpreted in a way as to mean something I never said.”
Later in the speech, Robinson said: “Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be-all and end-all of God’s creation probably don’t find that much in the Gospels to support that. On the other hand, I happen to think the traditional family is a wonderful thing. I’m a product of it. I dearly love my family, and I love my own family, with my own two kids. It just looks a little non-traditional. But this Jesus, when you ask who is Jesus, he was not terribly mainstream, was he?”