Divorce for First Openly Gay Bishop

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson has announced that he and his husband, Mark Andrew, areseeking a divorce after being together for 25 years. Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, retired last year after serving a decade. His appointment to bishop alienated many conservative Anglicans.

Divorce Announcement

Robinson publicly disclosed the divorce in an email to the Diocese of New Hampshire. In a column written for The Daily Beast, Robinson wrote:

“My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate. Love can endure, even if amarriage cannot. It will take a lot of work, a lot of grieving, and a large measure of hope to see it through. And that’s where my faith comes in.” He continued, “Life is hard, and that is true whether you’re in your teens or in your ‘golden years.’” According to Religion News Service, “Robinson went public with his sexual identity and divorce from his wife in 1986. He has since been open about the heavy toll he has faced under public scrutiny. Four years ago, he underwent treatment for alcoholism.”

In his personal statement, he went on to thank Andrew for standing by him during the struggle he faced both in his personal life and his career.

Legalization of Gay Marriage

Robinson and his soon-to-be ex spouse were joined in a civil union in 2008. The bond was then converted to marriage in 2010 when New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage.

The Church and Gay Marriage and Divorce

When Robinson became bishop, hundreds of parishes left the American Episcopal Church in protest, choosing to align themselves with the more conservative branches of the great church.

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