First openly gay Anglican bishop announces divorce
Controversial marriage ends after four years for US bishop Gene Robinson
Picture: The Telegraph
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Anglican church, whose ordination split the church in the United States, is to divorce his husband after four years of marriage.
The 66-year-old retired bishop married in 2010 when the state of New Hampshire legalised gay marriage, but had been in a relationship with his partner, Mark Andrew, for more than 25 years before announcing the split in an email to the diocese of New Hampshire last weekend.
In an article explaining the divorce, Bishop Robinson said that specific reasons would be remain private, but said responsibility fell “on the shoulders of both parties” while paying tribute to Mr Andrew as one of the “kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth”.
“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,” he wrote on The Daily Beast website.
“All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ’til death do us part. But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.”
The split is the latest twist in a turbulent personal and professional life that reached its high-point in 2003 when Bishop Robinson won a vote in the General Convention of the US Episcopalian church confirming his ordination as bishop.
The decision caused an international furore within the Anglican Communion, ultimately leading to the creation of an unrecognised conservative breakaway faction, the Anglican Church in North America, which aligned itself with several conservative African Anglican churches.
The breakaway US church which adheres to a more conservative philosophy, now claims to have over 100,000 members.
In 2008 as the-then Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams fought to keep the church united, he barred Bishop Robinson from attending the Lambeth Conference, the global meeting of all Anglican bishops that takes place once a decade.
However a second openly gay bishop, Bishop Mary D. Glasspool, was ordained in Los Angeles in 2010 and in 2012 the Episcopal Church voted to allow priests to bless same-sex marriages.
Source: The Telegraph
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