New Hampshire Hub




Gay Bishop Gene Robinson Prepares For Retirement

RobinsonAfter 27 years with the Episcopal Dioscese in New Hampshire, openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson is set to officially retire on January 5th, bringing to the end a career that helped break homophobic barriers within the Anglican church here in the States.

And as he prepares himself for the next step in his life, Robinson says he's in awe of the rapid progress his religion has made in the nine years since he first became bishop.

"I'd been given this really remarkable opportunity and it would be selfish of me not to be the best steward of that opportunity," he told the Associated Press.

"We went from my consecration, which set off this international controversy, to nine years later seeing gay, lesbian and transgender congregants welcome at all levels of the church, including bishop."

The AP also reminds readers of one of Robinson's bravest acts: standing up against the international Anglican Communion for not inviting him to their once-a-decade Lambeth Conference in 2008:

He was publicly shunned by church elders, targeted with death threats and says he struggled to strike a balance between being the "good bishop" and the "gay bishop." In the end, he says, they became one and the same.

He is a self-described "off-the-end-of-the-scale extrovert" who bounds across stages and television studios, whether promoting causes or his new book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk About Gay Marriage.

Robinson said it pained him deeply to be excluded in 2008 from [the Lambeth] gathering... He said it was the first time since 1867 that a bishop had not been invited.

He traveled to England despite the snub to make his presence known and minister to anyone who wanted his counsel.

As for his relationship to New Hampshire, where he's lived since the mid-70s, Robinson said, "New Hampshire was the one place where I wasn't the gay bishop. I'm just the bishop. That's been terrific and kind of lifesaving in way."


150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever

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A remarkably short four decades ago, the Stonewall Revolt of 1969 opened the flood gates for LGBT rights. The closet, so sturdy for so long, started being swept away in a rush of pride. Still, LGBT Americans lived in a culture of "tolerance," a popular euphemism for enduring.

There have been momentous years since then — both Barney Frank's 1987 coming out and the 2003 Supreme Court ruling overturning anti-sodomy laws come to mind — but when we look back in twenty years time or ten or even five, 2012 will be remembered as quantum leap for LGBT rights in the United States of America. It's the year that equality went from being a far-off dream to becoming an inevitable, immutable and irreversible reality. Even Newt Gingrich agrees!

This was the year of equality, the year the American dream came into sharper focus and the nation crossed from begrudgingly tolerating gays, and sometimes even acknowledging their relationships, to demanding our inclusion in the greater American family. Coming out is for the large part no longer a big deal, which is a big deal in and of itself.

There have never been as many out and proud elected officials; never before has Wall Street embraced us with such force; never before have so many conservatives admitted they need to shift gears on marriage equality and embrace change. This was a year of "never before" and "never again."

AFTER THE JUMP, 150 reasons why 2012 was a year of permanence for LGBT Americans, a year that the next wave of rights began its swoop across the purple mountain majesty and above the fruited plain.

And for more of our 2012 Year in Review, be sure to read "I'm Gay: 50 Most Powerful Comings Outs of 2012" HERE.

Continue reading "150 Game Changing Wins that Made 2012 the Gayest Year Ever" »


Lawyer with Anti-Gay Christian Litigation Group 'Alliance Defense Fund' Arrested by FBI on Child Porn Charges

Lisa Biron, a Manchester, New Hampshire lawyer associated with Alliance Defending Freedom (better and formerly known as the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay Christian law group) was arrested Friday morning on child pornography charges, the Concord Monitor reports:

BironA Manchester lawyer took a teenage girl to Canada, had her engage in sexual activity and convinced her to let it be filmed, according to federal indictments.

FBI agents swiftly arrested Lisa Biron yesterday morning as she awaited a hearing on child pornography charges at Manchester’s district court. About 9 a.m. FBI agents entered the courtroom, told Biron to leave her belongings and took her into an adjoining conference room where she remained for several minutes before coming out in handcuffs.

Agents also found 200 rounds of ammunition in Biron's home.

The paper adds:

In making her case that Biron should be held, Fitzgibbon also made the following allegations: Two witnesses have testified to seeing Biron in possession of ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine; Biron sent a threatening text message to the person who turned her in to the police, advising him he would have to watch his back “FOR EVER."; Biron sent a text to a friend saying she might flee to Cuba because she had “nothing left.”; Biron has asked people to lie to law enforcement about her case; Other juveniles have been subjected to Biron’s sexual activity and drug use.

And finally:

Biron is associated with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a group of lawyers who, according to their website, are committed to keeping “the door open for the spread of the Gospel” by advocating for “religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.” In Concord, she worked with the ADF in defending a Pentecostal Church on Mountain Road in its tax fight against the city.

More at the Monitor...


Obama Wins by a Landslide in Hart's Location, NH and Ties Romney in Dixville Notch: VIDEO

Hartslocation

Two New Hampshire towns are the first in the nation to vote, at midnight last night. As per usual, the results were immediately tallied.

In Dixville Notch, Obama and Romney received five votes each.

In Hart's Location, Obama won by a landslide, receiving 23 votes to Romney's 9. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson received a single vote.

Piers Morgan reports on the votes, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Obama Wins by a Landslide in Hart's Location, NH and Ties Romney in Dixville Notch: VIDEO" »


Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) Wins Democratic Primary in Night of Wins for Several Other LGBT Candidates

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) (pictured), one of four openly gay members of Congress, won his primary last night against Anthony Gemma whom he faced in his first run for the House and will now face anti-equality Republican Brendan Doherty this November, the Victory Fund reports.

CicillineThey also report on two more big races that saw favorable results yesterday.

Two candidates seeking seats in the Delaware legislature could become the first LGBT candidates to fill them, as both won their primaries last night. " Andy Staton is seeking a seat in the Delaware Senate, while Marie Mayor is running for State House seat," the VF reports.

And New Hampshire has elected an openly gay state Senator: "[David] Pierce is the first openly LGBT candidate to be elected to the state senate as a freshman.  Two other gay state senators came out while in office, but none are currently serving."

Congrats to all.


Bill to Repeal Marriage Equality Fails in New Hampshire House

NhmarriageGreat news. A vote to repeal marriage equality has failed in the New Hampshire House by a vote of 211-116. HB 437 would have repealed the state's marriage equality law and replaced it with civil unions.

WMUR reports:

The Republican-controlled House voted 202-133 against the repeal. Same-sex couples have been able to marry in New Hampshire for two years.

The vote came after about two hours of debate on the bill and associated amendments, including ones which would have implemented civil unions and called for a nonbinding referendum on the issue.

Even if the bill had passed, Gov. John Lynch had pledged to veto it.

More from Phil Reese at the Washington Blade:

Several Republicans crossed the aisle to defeat the measure, including Reps. Mike Ball and Jennifer Coffey, who spoke out against the bill last week along with other advocates and Democratic lawmakers at a news conference organized by the marriage equality group Standing Up For New Hampshire Families. During a long and contentious debate on the bill in which the same amendment was brought back for reconsideration twice, strong statements were made on all sides of the issue.

“God is my judge, this legislative body is not my judge,” Rep. Cameron DeJong proclaimed. “Allow me to have this discussion between my God and me about my decisions.”

Rep. Ball compared the bill to segregation in the South, “Let’s put this dog down, like it deserves to be.”

In a surreal moment during the debate, an amendment to the bill was introduced to also bar marriage between left-handed people. That amendment failed to be considered.

NOTE: The original vote total of 202-133 (still noted on WMUR's site at the time of this posting) is incorrect, and the correct vote count is indeed 211-116.


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