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Vote on Gay Priest Postponed

Aired August 4, 2003 - 15:29   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Let's talk about the openly gay priest one step away from making history in the Episcopal Church. A final vote is scheduled this afternoon on whether to accept a gay priest as the church's New Hampshire bishop. Some conservatives are threatening to break away.
Let's go to Susan Candiotti. She's live on the phone with us now.

Susan, what do you know? What's the latest developments?

SUSAN CANDIOTTI, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, the latest development is that the vote has been postponed by the House of Bishops, a vote that was -- a voting process that was supposed to begin in just about -- well, at roughly this time, actually.

And it's been postponed, we've learned, because of a couple of allegations that are being made at the 11th hour against Reverend David Robinson (sic). Two of these allegations, one of them has to do with an e-mail that was sent just last night from a man in Manchester, Vermont, by the name of David Lewis, who sent an e-mail to a bishop claiming that -- or alleging that -- Reverend Robinson had -- quote -- "touched him inappropriately" a few years ago at a convocation, and he's asking the bishops to look into this.

Also, the vote is being postponed, we have learned from church officials, is because another group who initially came to CNN revealed that they suspect that a Web site called outright.org, an organization that counsels gay and lesbian youth under the age of 21, that if you go on to their Web site, there are a few clicks away and leaving their Web site can eventually get you, they say, to a pornographic site. CNN has been looking into this allegation for the past couple of days, and determined that Reverend Robinson claims and the Web site claims that it's nothing to do with Reverend Robinson, he had nothing to do with the Web site, and furthermore, they were not aware of any connection between this link on the Web site that shows photographs, erotic photographs that could be described and Reverend Robinson. They claim there is absolutely no connection, and he denies it as well. He says he hasn't had any connection to the group for the last couple ever years, though he did found it a few years ago. This is on his resume.

So apparently, Kyra, the bishops decided to postpone their vote until they can look into these allegations.

PHILLIPS: Susan Candiotti on the phone with us from Minneapolis, thank you so much.

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