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First openly gay Episcopalian bishop to divorce

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop, is getting a divorce from his longtime husband.
Bishop Gene Robinson in Canterbury, England in July 2008.
Bishop Gene Robinson in Canterbury, England in July 2008.

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopalian bishop who became a symbol of how faith and support for LGBT rights can coexist, is getting a divorce from his longtime husband Mark Andrew.

In a column for The Daily Beast, Robinson writes that "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's selection as bishop of the New Hampshire diocese in 2003 was the beginning of an ongoing schism between conservatives and liberals within the Anglican Church over the issue of LGBT rights. In 2010, Robinson announced his intention to step down in 2013, citing "death threats" and "the worldwide controversy" over his selection. 

"Everyone acknowledges they know where this is going, that gay marriage is becoming a reality," Robinson told the New York Times in 2009, shortly after the Episcopal Church voted to allow same-sex marriages. "But we’re trying to bring our people along."