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The first openly homosexual Episcopal bishop says he is being falsely accused of suggesting that Jesus might also have been homosexual.

"I can assure you with absolute certainty that was not my implication, and certainly not anything I ever said," Bishop V. Gene Robinson told the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper.

He said he is "being flooded with angry messages" because of Web log reports about his comments at a Feb. 13 forum on sexual issues at Christ Church in Hamilton, Mass.

Robinson said he was making the point that the nuclear family is a relatively new idea and that Jesus apparently led a nontraditional life.

"Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values and so on," Robinson says in a recording from the forum on the church's Web site, "this man that we follow . . . was single as far as we know; who traveled with a bunch of men, although there were lots of women around; who had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved.' "

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