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Bishop Gene Robinson to lecture on religion, gay rights

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson will speak about religion and young people April 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Sage Chapel and April 7 in New York City on advocacy for gay rights. Both programs are sponsored by Cornell United Religious Work (CURW).

Robinson's talk, "How Religion Is Killing Our Most Vulnerable Youth," is the 2011 Frederick C. Wood Lecture at Cornell. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Robinson is the first openly gay noncelibate priest ordained as a bishop in the United States, and he has more than 25 years of service in the Episcopal Church. His story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary "For the Bible Tells Me So," and he is the author of "In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God," published in 2008.

As an advocate of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, he has worked at the state, national and international levels as a speaker and lobbyist for equal protection under the law and full civil marriage rights.

His CURW in the City lecture in New York is on "The Role of the Liberal Religious Voice in Advocacy of Gay Rights," April 7 at 7 p.m. at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson St. in Manhattan. The talk follows a reception at 6 p.m. Registration is required online.

Robinson "leads us to a rethinking of traditional interpretations, in that he is part of a larger public cultural and ecclesiastical debate regarding homosexuality," said Rev. Kenneth Clarke, director of CURW. "I think that he represents a prophetic and courageous voice that leads us into a much broader understanding of biblical and theological interpretation of sexuality."

Robinson was invited by President-elect Barack Obama to give the invocation at opening inaugural ceremonies Jan. 18, 2009, at the Lincoln Memorial. He is also a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

He was elected bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in June 2003 after serving as Canon to the Ordinary (assistant to the bishop) for almost 18 years. He was consecrated a bishop on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 2, 2003, and was invested as the ninth bishop of New Hampshire on March 7, 2004.

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John Carberry