Today members of the New Hampshire Episcopalian dioceses are gathering to elect a successor to Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the history of the church.
The election of Robinson in 2003 tore a rift in the global Anglican community. In 2010, Robinson announced that he would retire next January, saying years of death threats and controversy had taken their toll.
The vice-chair of New Hampshire’s bishop search committee, Margaret Porter, says that sexual orientation did not figure in to the selection of candidates.
"We selected our nominees based on their fitness to be a bishop of the Church," Porter says.
One of the nominees for Robinson’s job – Reverend William Rich, who is currently a priest in Boston – is also openly gay.
Later today around 200 clergy and other faithful will gather at St. Paul’s Church in Concord, and choose Robinson’s successor.