The first openly gay bishop in the American Episcopal Church is to be honoured by a university in the US state of Indiana, early next month.

Gene Robinson retired from his post as the Bishop of New Hampshire at the start of 2013.

His election in 2003 created an international uproar and led conservative Episcopalians to break away from the main church in the United States.

The Associated Press reports the former bishop is scheduled to receive the 2013 Thomas A Dooley Award from the Gay and Lesbian Alumni of the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College in Indiana.

The award honours individuals who, through a faith-based background, have demonstrated personal courage, compassion and commitment to advance the human and civil rights of lesbian and gay Americans.

Mr Robinson will collect the award on 6 AprilĀ at a dinner at the Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend, Indiana.