V. Gene Robinson was elected Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire on June 7, 2003, having served as Canon to the Ordinary (Assistant to the Bishop) for nearly 18 years. He was consecrated a Bishop on All Saints Sunday, November 2, 2003, and was invested as the Ninth Bishop of New Hampshire on March 7, 2004.
A 1969 graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee, he has a B.A. in American Studies/History. In 1973, he completed the M.Div. degree at the General Theological Seminary in New York, was ordained deacon, and then priest, serving as Curate at Christ Church, Ridgewood, New Jersey. Upon moving to New Hampshire in 1975, Gene co-owned and directed an ACA accredited horseback riding summer camp for girls. As Founding Director of Sign of the Dove Retreat Center, in Temple, New Hampshire, he led retreat programs for vestries, diocesan committees, intergenerational groups, and all kinds of parish groups.
From 1978 to 1985, Gene was Youth Ministries Coordinator for the seven dioceses of New England, serving two years on the National Youth Ministries Development Team, where he helped originate the national Episcopal Youth Event. From 1983 until his election as bishop, Gene also served as Executive Secretary of Province I, coordinating all cooperative programs between the seven dioceses of New England.
Clergy wellness has long been a focus of Gene=s ministry, and in the nineties he developed the ABeing Well in Christ@ conference model for The Cornerstone Project, and led clergy conferences
in over 20 dioceses in the U.S. and Canada. He initiated AFresh Start,@ a two-year mentoring program for all clergy in new positions in New Hampshire, and co-authored the Fresh Start curriculum, now in use in nearly half of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. Much of his ministry has focused on helping congregations and clergy, especially in times of conflict, utilizing his skills in congregational dynamics, conflict resolution and mediation.
Co-author of three AIDS education curricula for youth and adults, Gene has done AIDS work in the United States and in Africa (Uganda and South Africa). He has been an advocate for antiracism
training in the diocese and wider Church. He helped build the Diocese of New Hampshire=s close working partnership with the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, advocated for debt relief for the world's most impoverished nations, and lobbied for sociallyresponsible investment within and beyond the Church. He is a past member of the Board of the New Hampshire Endowment for Health, which works for access to health care for the uninsured. Bishop Robinson currently serves as a Trustee of the Church Pension Fund and a board member of the NH Children’s Alliance. He holds two honorary doctorates and has received numerous awards from national civil rights organizations. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, “For the Bible Tells Me So.” In 2008 Gene’s book “In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God” (Seabury Books, New York) was released.
Bishop Robinson has been active particularly in the area of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender people. Working at the state, national and international levels, he has spoken and lobbied for equal protection under the law and full civil marriage rights. He has been honored by many LGBT organizations for this work, including the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, GLAD, NH Civil Liberties Union, GLAAD, and the Equality Forum.
Bishop Robinson was invited by Barack Obama to give the invocation at the opening inaugural ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2009. He is the subject of a new documentary film “Love Free or Die: How the Bishop of New Hampshire is Changing the World” which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January, 2012. The Bishop's next book, God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage, will be published by Alfred Knopf in the fall of 2012.
Gene enjoys entertaining and cooking, gardening, music and theatre. He is the father of two grown daughters and the proud grandfather of two granddaughters. He lives with his husband, Mark Andrew, who is employed by the State of New Hampshire=s Department Health & Human Services.