Gene Robinson: First openly gay Episcopalian bishop divorcing husband

The first openly gay person to become bishop in the Episcopalian Church, sparking controversy, has announced he and his husband are divorcing.

gene robinson gay bishop episcopalian Retired gay Bishop Gene Robinson, right, with his partner, Mark, fought to be recognized by the Episcopalian church.
Credit: Gillian Laub

 

The first openly gay person to be elected bishop in the Episcopalian Church announced over the weekend that he is divorcing his husband.

 

V. Gene Robinson sent a letter announcing the divorce on Saturday to the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire community, which he served for decades. Robinson did not offer any details about why he and his partner of more than 25 years, Mark, are divorcing. They entered into a civil union in 2008, which became a marriage in 2010 when same-sex marriage became legal in New Hampshire.

 

"As you can imagine, this is a difficult time for us - not a decision entered into lightly or without much counseling. I'm sure that you will understand the private nature of this change in our lives and our commitment to keeping those details appropriately private," Robinson wrote in the letter.

 

In a column for The Daily Beast posted on Sunday, Robinson wrote about the similarities between his marriage and that of any other one.

"It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples," Robinson said.

Robinson's election as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003 was the subject of controversy and led to some Episcopalians to start their own church, according to Reuters. Robinson, in announcing his plans to retire, said he received death threats after his election as bishop.

His story was the subject of many stories and even documentaries. In 2009, Robinson gave the opening prayer during President Barack Obama's inauguration.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.

 
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