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INDIANAPOLIS, IN: GC2012: Vicky Gene Robinson cries "Foul" in House of Bishops

INDIANAPOLIS, IN: GC2012: Vicky Gene Robinson cries "Foul" in the House of Bishops
"I have no intention of responding to that e-mail. It is nobody's damn business."

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
July 9, 2012

INDINAPOLIS---Episcopal Bishop Vicky Gene Robinson cannot have his cake and eat it too, which is what he is trying to do.

The Bishop of New Hampshire, who turned The Episcopal Church on its ear when his own episcopal election was confirmed at the 2003 General Convention in Minneapolis, now wants to be able to flaunt his gay lifestyle, but when a VOL reporter asked about reports that show that there may be trouble in paradise, the high ranking clergyman cries "Foul."

It is the responsibility of a news organization to verify information before publishing a story.

From several sources, Virtue Online came into possession of information that the New Hampshire Episcopal bishop's marital relationship with his same-sex partner maybe on the rocks.

Bishop Robinson willingly and joyfully parades his gay lifestyle, zipping all over the country in whole-hearted support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender agenda. He most recently was the LGBT darling of More Light Presbyterians - that denomination's same-sex support group, when the Presbyterian Church USA held its 220th General Assembly last week in Pittsburgh.

In fact, this afternoon, upon the passage of A-049 Bishop Gene Robinson immediately tweeted: "Episcopal Bishops authorize rite of blessing for same-sex relationships 111 to 41. ‪#LGBT"

When researching a story a journalist goes to the source. It would be unethical to rush into print innuendo, supposition, and unsubstantiated facts. VOL was simply seeking a confirmation or denial of reports regarding Bishop Robinson's living situation.

The bishop could have relied: "No comment," or simply refused to respond to VOL's e-mail and the story would have died right there. There would have been nothing more to pursue.

Instead the bishop, who loves the limelight, asked for a Point of Personal Privilege in Monday morning's session of the House of Bishops. As a result, the story, which would have failed to develop, was given life by the bishop's own action and words.

He gets up in front of the Episcopal House of Bishops, which was being live streamed, and says: "Also last night I received an e-mail from a person who calls himself a correspondent for Virtue Online, wanting me to comment on whether or not my beloved Mark and I are having relationship problems, and whether or not we are discussing or planning a divorce. I have no intention of responding to that e-mail. It is nobody's damn business."

Little did he realize, in his HOB rant, he did respond to the VOL e-mail, but not in the way he had expected. Virtue Online had hit a raw nerve. Within seconds Twitter explodes with tweets about Bishop Robinson's comments. He had just pushed a nonstory into the forefront. Now the innocuous e-mail has become a full-fledged story with a life of its own and the New Hampshire bishop is in the middle of it, lapping up the accolades.

Virtue Online is vilified and the out-going bishop of New Hampshire, who only has a few more days left in Convention, gets a standing ovation from his purple-clad brothers and sisters.

"I have only three and a half more days as an active bishop in this house and less than six months as an active bishop of this church. Can you cut me a little slack, please?" he pleads.

Then he goes on to say: "Can you find it in your heart, if you've got a question about something that I've said or done, to ask me personally? I will answer you truthfully."

Funny thing, VOL did ask him a question personally, via e-mail. But the bishop has failed not only answer the question but answer truthfully. He has spoken with forked-tongue.

The bishop complained in the Bishops' chamber that his life has borne a high level of scrutiny since he has been in the House of Bishops.

Of course he has, he has brought it on himself by his high visibility and his propensity to draw attention to himself. He has created his own legacy through his books, the documentary, and on-going travels.

Bishop Mary Glasspool, too, is in a same-gender partnered relationship, but you don't see her hopscotching across the country championing the gay rights. She keeps a very low profile and quietly goes about her episcopal duties in Los Angeles without drawing untoward attention to herself. Once the original flurry of her consecration died down, she no longer makes banner headlines in the way Bishop Robinson does and continues to do.

Perhaps Bishop Robinson could learn a lot from his sister bishop, Mary Glasspool, about comportment.

In the end the New Hampshire bishop received exactly what he was looking for. A pat on the back for all the suffering he has done as the first gay bishop as the House of Bishops stood.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

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