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Bishop Gene Robinson: Time to Rethink the Bible on Homosexuality

May 16, 2011

CONCORD, N.H. - Extreme cyber-bullying, peer pressure and unrealistic body image pressures ... Being a teenager today can be tough. Add being gay to the equation and a growing number of kids, feeling they have no one to turn to, are taking their own lives. A recent study shows teen suicide rates for GLBT teens are especially high in areas that are predominantly conservative, with religious arguments reinforcing the idea that being gay is wrong or an "illness" to be cured.

New Hampshire's first openly-gay Episcopal Bishop, Gene Robinson, says perhaps it's time to re-think the Bible.

"We are living at a time now when the church is asking whether or not we might have gotten it wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality, just as we got it wrong about race, that is to say, Holy Scripture was used for countless centuries to justify slavery."

Robinson says times have changed since he was growing up in the '50s, and there are more places and people for youth to turn to if they need support. He recommends GLSEN (pronounced GLISSEN), which stands for The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, with clubs in schools designed to help gay teens in New Hampshire and around the country deal with bullying and other issues.

Robinson says it's a misconception that being gay is a "lifestyle choice" or is somehow influenced by outside cultural forces. He says that's not the case, and even if it were, shouldn't we all have equal rights?

"This is the way they were born and they have come to accept themselves, and now they just need the society to accept them as well. We're offered the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and if that happiness involves being partnered to someone of the same gender, why shouldn't we as Americans be entitled to those rights just as much as anyone else?"

Robinson has been involved with a national campaign called "It Gets Better," which uses high-profile people in videos aimed at helping young GLBT kids understand that while life may seem difficult right now, it will in fact, get better.

The study referred to is at pediatrics.aappublications.org

GLSEN NH information is at chapters.glsen.org

"It Gets Better" is at www.itgetsbetter.org


Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH