CIIS Confers Honorary Doctorate on Bishop Gene RobinsonPosted on Mar 13 2013

By Zack Rogow

On May 19, 2013, California Institute of Integral Studies will confer an honorary doctoral degree in Spirituality and Social Justice on Bishop Gene Robinson. “Bishop Gene Robinson has been an outstanding leader both in spirituality and in human rights,” says CIIS President Joseph L. Subbiondo. “CIIS is privileged to recognize his extraordinary and inspiring achievements.”

Robinson made history on November 2, 2003 as the first openly gay person named a bishop by a major Christian denomination. The ceremony followed a highly contested process, when leaders and parishioners of the Anglican Communion took strong stands on both sides of the issue.

Robinson is the author of In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God, which recounts the story of his consecration as bishop while examining issues of theology and human rights. His book God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage makes a strong case for marriage equality in a spiritual context. President Barack Obama chose Bishop Robinson to deliver the invocation at the Lincoln Memorial for the weekend of his first inauguration in 2009.

Vicky Gene Robinson was born into a family of Kentucky sharecroppers who did not have indoor plumbing. He faced many health difficulties as a newborn, and doctors were so convinced he would not survive that they prepared a death certificate along with his birth certificate. Bishop Robinson’s early years included a marriage with two daughters, before his coming out in 1985.

Within the faith community and beyond, Robinson has been an outspoken advocate of human rights for gays; within the LGBTQ community, Robinson has spoken eloquently about his spirituality.

The honorary degree for Bishop Robinson will be conferred at the CIIS commencement ceremony on May 19, 2013.

Zack Rogow is senior editor at CIIS. His writings include a recent book of poems, "My Mother and the Ceiling Dancers," from Kattywompus Press.



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