THE CONTINUING ROLE OF MORALITY IN THE
DEVELOPMENT OF LEGAL RIGHTS FOR
PRESENTED BY THE 2007 GOODWIN SYMPOSIUM
SHEPARD BROAD LAW SCHOOL
NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
FROM THE EVENT BULLETIN:
"South Florida was the home of Anita Bryant’s infamous fight against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Dade County, and he subsequent push for a ban on adoptions by gays and lesbians. The program will explore how views about morality have developed since Anita Bryant’s crusade in 1977, and to what extent morality still influences the laws impacting sexual minorities here in the United States and around the world."
I thought it was wonderful that Nova invited Bishop Robinson to be the final speaker in this symposium. I think a lot of others thought so as well.
When Bishop Robinson walked into the large lecture hall he was greeted with a standing ovation. Then another one when he went to the lectern and again when his presentation concluded.
He spoke from the heart and vividly expressed his walk with Jesus, his election as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, the fallout and Anglican fighting over his consecration. He pointed out that many in the Anglican Communion want him to step down.
But, as Bishop Robinson pointed out, resigning from the episcopate would not silence the movement of ending the horrible injustices to gay people in religious life as well as secular.
If he stepped down, the conflicts regarding sexuality in both religious and secular life will continue.
Bishop Robinson talked about the history of patriarchy and it's influence on our cultural sexual mores.
He talked for an hour and then took questions for 30 minutes. The first two questions were from men who wanted to argue preach the evangelical message. Bishop Robinson was patient, hear heard them out. But after awhile he asked them to meet with him after the event if they wanted to debate him theologically but that others had questions to ask. The guys really were monopolizing the Q&A period. When they finally shut up, other folks got to ask their questions.
At the reception afterward, Bishop Robinson took his time with everybody who wanted to speak with him. He liked the "I Love Bishop Robinson" buttons and bumper stickers I sent him for his birthday.
From the Miami Herald:
Gay bishop is wary of `religious right'
BY DIANA MOSKOVITZ
People must ''rescue the Bible from the religious right'' and fight for civil rights to be extended to everyone, including gays and lesbians, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop said Tuesday night.
Gene Robinson, the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, told a crowd of about 150 people at Nova Southeastern University's Shepard Broad Law Center in Davie that society suffers from a system set up to benefit heterosexual couples, which he called ``heterosexism.''
Only straight couples can marry in most states. In the military, gays and lesbians work under a ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy.
And that system needs to end, Robinson said.
''We have lost the distinction between what the state does and what the church and synagogue does,'' Robinson said.
Robinson was named an Episcopal bishop in 2003. Afterward, several U.S. churches broke away from the Episcopal Church.
His peech Tuesday night at NSU was part of the university's symposium on sexuality, morality and the law.
Robinson cited the example of a man who beats up a gay man. A typical defense, he said, would be that the gay man made sexual advances at him. And some people, he said, would say that made the attack justified.
But he said a similar defense would not work if the gay man were a woman.
''Can you imagine how empty the streets would be if we locked up every man who hit on a woman?'' Robinson asked.
He urged Christians to take the Bible back from the ``religious right.''
As people change, their understanding of Scripture changes too, he said.
''Just because God is perfect doesn't mean we perfectly understand God,'' Robinson said.
During a question-and-answer session, two men implied implied that they disapproved of Robinson's homosexuality.
Read rest of story here: www.miamiherald.com/news/broward/story/323375.htmlp://