Robinson addresses religion issues

RALEIGH, N.C. — Bishop Gene Robinson, who was the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, was at North Carolina State University on Oct. 14 speaking on the subject of God Believes in Love, Straight Talk about Gay Marriage at Witherspoon’s Campus Cinema. This event was part of the school’s Diversity Education Week.

The Technician reported that during his introduction, the university’s Center for Leadership, Ethics and Public Service Vice President Dani Lechner presented Robinson with an honorary Role Model Leader Award.

During his address, Robinson shared that “thirty years ago, most Americans would have told you that they didn’t know anyone who was gay…And now, there isn’t a family left in America who doesn’t know one family member, one coworker or one classmate who isn’t LGBT.”

He added that society had advanced and evolved, thus making it possible for the LGBT community to be more accepted. He also said that even with progress, there are still “some elements of religion” that place pressure on the LGBT people, however, he indicated that religion could become an “integral part” of the LGBT community.

The day after his engagement, The Technician reported that there was some backlash from its anti-LGBT student body.

Gregory McClanahan reported that Robinson was being demeaned, even after he received the highly distinguished role model award.

Some students felt that Robinson was a hypocrite. They even questioned how he could believe in God.

These attacks, McClanahan shared, “In a world where Christians claim to want love and peace, there is an awful lot of hatred around the Christian community.” He even went so far as to say that every student should take “courses like USC 100, Transition into a Diverse Community” to develop more understanding about those “who are different from them.”

McClanahan indicated that by if a “stable social environment that promotes the care and respect from every single member of this university” could not be maintained, “then how are we going to have a community that promotes academia for everyone?” He added that the “Pack” would have to see its failures and hold students accountable for their actions” before this could occur. Adding to this, he called upon the university’s parents, faculty, students and more to end discrimination, as well as promote an accepting environment.

Elsewhere on campus, students sold “I [heart] Diversity” T-shirts to promote the week’s observance at the university’s Brickyard.

Justine Hollingshead, GLBT Center director, said it was a way to begin a dialogue on diversity. It is the hope of the center and those who partner with it to keep the process going well after Diversity Education Week.

A cabaret is slated for Nov. 15 as part of the center’s programming.


GCN reports successes

RALEIGH, N.C. — The Gay Christian Network has announced that its 2012-13 fiscal year was one infused with achievements.

It launched a new website design and welcomed over 500 attendees to its annual conference. The annual report is available online at

In order to keep GCN growing, it is asking for board members with specific skill and experience to join them. Areas of interest include non-profit work, fundraising, marketing, public speaking or writing and more. Board members are asked to make a financial giving and time commitment (approximately five hours a week, the monthly board meetings, annual planning meeting and conference). Candidates should be able to advocate for GCN’s position, lending a voice for LGBT Christians. Email nominations to

The organization is also working with North Carolina State University Public Relations students to revamp its communications’ strategy, GCN said. Visit to take part.

As with any non-profit, contributions are always welcome to support its work, especially during economic times of stress the U.S. has seen.

In other news, GCN has shared that its 2014 conference keynote speaker will be author and blogger Rachel Held Evans. She has been featured on NPR, The Washington Post and to name a few.


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Does your organization or special interest group have events or great information to share with our readers? If so, be sure to send in your information to In the upcoming months, we’ll feature one of you in our news notes section in each issue. Are you a part of a Meetup, Yahoo or Google group and do you do something that’s really newsworthy? Do you provide a service for the community or hold fundraisers for worthy causes? Do you educate the public about LGBT issues or concerns? Of course, this is only a sampling of things we are interested in. It’s the aim of these pieces to inform, enlighten and educate our readers about what we’re doing here in the Carolinas to champion LGBT rights, as well as offer resources for those who may be interested in what your group is doing.

Lainey Millen

Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.