Concord, New Hampshire, United States (4E) – The first openly gay Episcopalian Bishop V. Gene Robinson is divorcing his husband Mark Andrew after 25 years of marriage, he announced Sunday.
In his op-ed column on The Daily Beast, the former bishop wrote, “My partner and husband of 25-plus years and I decided to get divorced. While the details of our situation will remain appropriately private, I am seeking to be as open and honest in the midst of this decision as I have been in other dramatic moments of my life—coming out in 1986, falling in love, and accepting the challenge of becoming Christendom’s first openly gay priest to be elected a Bishop in the historic succession of bishops stretching back to the apostles. “
The 66-year-old bishop, who described his husband as “one of the kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth,” went on to express that “Marriage is forever…even if it formally ends.”
“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, and added, “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 a marriage 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.”
Bishop Robinson believes he will get through his pain through Jesus, and believes that “God will have the last word, and that word is hope,” hope for a new life for him and Mark, with the support of their community.
Meanwhile, Bishop Robinson, who was installed in the diocese of New Hampshire in 2004 and retired January last year, was previously married to Isabella McDaniel from 1972 until 1986.