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Gene Robinson: 'Sexuality not an issue for under 30s'

The first openly gay bishop in the Anglican Church has said that the the Church of England needs to understand that sexual orientation is "not an issue for those under 30 years old"

The Right Reverend Gene Robinson, an American Episcopal and Bishop of New Hampshire said that "as more and more of us come out... the less likely they [younger generation] will continue to believe some of the things that people have said about us" and come to see that they are playing "enormously important roles in the church".

Bishop Robinson was speaking ahead of a screening of a documentary about his life Love Free or Die at the BFI Southbank London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

He told the Today programme's James Naughtie that some people "believed my election... would mean the end of the Anglican communion... but nine years later it still holds together".

On Rowan William's decision to stand down as the Archbishop of Canterbury, he said that he can at least retire knowing "under his watch the communion [of the Anglican Church] did not come apart".

Bishop Robinson said that there are still tension and problems to be solved but there are bigger problems to be dealt with such as Aids and malaria.

He said that "for countless centuries we used scripture to justify slavery and the denigration of women" and he believes "its the holy spirit that helped us to learn that these are positions that God would be happy".

He went on to say that "we are trying to figure out now whether or not this also might not be the holy Spirit leading us" on the issue of religion and sexuality.

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