In a better world, it wouldn't even be news. I mean, "gay" and "Anglican" go together like tea and clotted cream. The problem is that the bishop in question, Lindsay Unwin, is a prominent leader in the CofE's -- ahem -- rising homophobe wing.
Bear in mind, the allegations (posted on a blog by "Dennis," no last name given) are allegations, as in yet-to-be-proven. Still, they are pretty scorching: "we hooked up twice during Holy Week." Dennis knew that his new crush was a priest, and a candidate for bishop, and deeply closeted, and was warned by a mutual acquaintance that Unwin had an unsavory reputation; so he broke it off, left for the US, and never said a word on the subject. After all, whose business was it, really?
Except that, some fifteen years later, Unwin is My Lord Bishop of Horsham, and recently signed a letter of support for the Diocese of San Joaquin following its decision to leave the Protestant Episcopal Church in the USA, specifically in protest against PECUSA's whole gay-bishops thing.
Smelling a little hypocrisy -- okay, a lot of hypocrisy -- "Dennis" spoke up. Generally speaking, we at the Egg don't think highly of outing. In this case, it seems warranted.
That said, here are some considerations: (1) The story might be false. Frankly, we would be surprised if it were, for the reason given in our first graf. Still, Christian charity requires that we at least acknowledge the possibility. (2) Unwin, as a commentator points out, is an Anglo-Catholic; in theory, this means that he could just commit the acts, confess them, and move on with a clean slate. In his own mind, therefore, he isn't a "gay bishop;" he is a bishop who has occasionally "done gay things." The point being that "gay" isn't a description of his nature, but of his actions. Fair enough; but if those actions are habitual, one wonders whether he quite got the part about "firmly intending amendment of life." (3) Ultimately, as many conservatives will argue, the issue isn't about the behavior of individual clerics, but abut the public teaching of the Church. And that's at least half-right. Theology is important. But theology isn't just -- or even primarily -- a series of doctrinal assertions. It is also and perhaps above all the experience of authentic Christian living, which includes both the frank acknowledgment of the truth about oneself, and the capacity to treat others with love and dignity. Hiding behavior of which you are ashamed while seeking to punish those who behave likewise is bad theology.