The Episcopal bishop of California, Marc Andrus, has declared his support for Bishop Gene Robinson.

It was announced earlier this week that openly gay bishop Robinson would not be invited to attend an important conference of Anglican bishops next year.

“I will be seeking to learn how I can best be in solidarity with Bishop Robinson, through prayerful action,” says the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, Episcopal bishop of California.

“The tactic of isolation and exile being employed against Bishop Robinson is retrogressive behaviour that moves us towards a past from which Christ is always seeking to redeem us.

“I ask the people of the Diocese of California to pray with me about our common life with all of God’s people and the earth.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury convenes the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of all of the bishops of the Anglican Communion, once every ten years.

While acknowledging that Bishop Robinson is a duly-elected and consecrated bishop in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Williams decided not to invite him because of opposition expressed by conservatives such as Peter Akinola, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.

Akinola supports repressive legislation in Nigeria that would criminalise homosexuality and suppress advocacy for the human rights of gay and lesbian people.

On Sunday, June 24, Bishop Andrus will welcome openly gay Nigerian human rights activist Davis Mac-Illya to San Francisco, and they will march together with the church’s contingent in the Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade.

“At the end of the Easter season,” remarks Andrus, “the Sunday reading gives us a passage from what is called the High Priestly Prayer of Jesus: ‘That they may be one, as I and the Father are one.’

“We must always be seeking this oneness that honours both our interconnectedness, our individuality, and that includes all.”

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