Openly homosexual bishop Gene Robinson has revealed the contents of several private meetings he had with Barack Obama during his presidential campaign.
Bishop Robinson, whose consecration in 2003 precipitated a crisis in the Anglican Church, said Mr Obama had sought out meetings with him where they discussed religion and politics.
Bishop Robinson said Mr Obama “indicated his broad and deep support for the full civil rights for gay and lesbian” people during their talks.
Mr Obama is known to have opposed recent measures in several US states to protect the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
These measures were passed by voters in Florida, Arizona and California in spite of huge pressure for so-called ‘gay marriage’ to be recognised in law.
Bishop Robinson relayed the contents of his discussions with Mr Obama in an interview with The Times, in which he also said he did not think public funding should be given to groups that evangelise.
He said: “I think the Bush administration got very very close to the line if not going over the line in terms of offering support to religious-based groups who were using their social service arms to proselytise and evangelise which I would say is inappropriate.”
Conservative evangelicals were prompted to boycott this year’s annual gathering of Anglican bishops over the consecration of Bishop Robinson, which went against orthodox Christian teaching on homosexuality.
Bishop Robinson was last night named ‘Hero of the Year’ by British homosexual lobby group Stonewall.