First U.S. gay bishop remembers Desmond Tutu’s generosity, kindness

“It was fairly surreal as a result of I used to be taking grief from actually around the globe,” he stated in a cellphone interview. “There was in all probability at the moment, and perhaps nonetheless, no one better known around the world than Desmond Tutu. It was an astounding gesture of generosity and kindness.”

Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for racial justice, died at age 90. He was an uncompromising foe of apartheid, South Africa’s brutal regime of oppression in opposition to its Black majority, in addition to a number one advocate for LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage.

“Now, with gay marriage, it’s arduous to recollect how controversial this was, and for him to face with me on the very time I used to be being excluded … it utterly floored me,” Robinson stated.


Within the foreword to Robinson’s guide, Tutu additionally apologized for the “cruelty and injustice” the LGBTQ neighborhood had suffered by the hands of fellow Anglicans.

Tutu, Robinson stated, used his personal expertise of oppression to grasp and empathize with others.

“He used that as a window into what it was prefer to be a girl, what it was prefer to be somebody in a wheelchair or for somebody to LGBTQ or no matter it was,” he stated. “It was the factor that taught him to be compassionate.”

Robinson recalled the way in which Tutu’s snicker rippled throughout crowds of hundreds in addition to a non-public second once they prayed collectively within the seminary Robinson graduated from in New York.

“There was no one in ache that he wasn’t involved about, whether or not that ache was a bodily ailment of some variety or a psychological sickness or one thing to do with cruelty or degradation. It pained him,” Robinson stated. “To take a seat within the room and listen to him praying about these individuals was about as near realizing the center of God as I ever count on to know. I imply, I don’t even must know greater than that.”

Robinson served because the ninth bishop of New Hampshire till his retirement in early 2013 and later as a fellow on the Middle for American Progress. Now 74, he just lately retired because the vice chairman of faith and senior pastor on the Chautauqua Establishment.

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