The openly homosexual Episcopal bishop, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, has planned to enter into a civil partnership with his long-term partner just weeks before next year's Lambeth Conference, reports the Church of England Newspaper.
Robinson, whose consecration as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 has placed the Anglican Communion on the brink of schism, unveiled his intention during an interview to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 next week, in a program entitled Choice.
In an interview with Michael Buerk, the bishop denied that his plan to hold the ceremony next June had been chosen to be deliberately provocative.
He said he and his partner decided to take advantage of the new civil union law that will come into effect in New Hampshire on Jan. 1 and were looking for a three-day weekend that would allow people to travel more easily.
"That happened to be the fifth anniversary of my election as the Bishop of New Hampshire and [we] thought that would be an appropriate date,” he elaborated. "I think the fact is my critics would find any date impermissible."
He told the interviewer about his love for the Anglican Communion, but said he would never step down, as it would go against God's call for his life.
He said his election was the result of his community’s vote and that he is not sure that they necessarily did the right thing. “That community tried its very best to discern the will of God, and we may be wrong, I am ready to admit to you that I cannot be sure that this is the right thing or the right time or the right way.”
He also said he believes Episcopal Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria “is following his call from God as best as he can” in leading the campaign against gay bishops.
“I just wish he could believe I am following my call from God as best I can," Robinson reportedly said.