Saturday 17 March 2018

First openly gay bishop in US divorces after four-year marriage

American Bishop Gene Robinson has announced that he is getting divorced
American Bishop Gene Robinson has announced that he is getting divorced

Peter Foster in Washington

Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop in the Anglican Church, whose ordination divided the church in the US, 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 same-sex marriage. He had been in a relationship with Mark Andrew for more than 25 years before announcing their 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.

"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 Episcopal Church confirming his ordination as bishop. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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