First openly gay Episcopal Bishop announces divorce
Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, has announced that he and his longtime partner of 25 years, Mark Andrew, are getting a divorce.
He made the announcement in an article for the The Daily Beast, writing: "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."
Robinson's election to the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003 caused international backlash and led many conservative Episcopalians to back away from the main church in the U.S.
That same backlash eventually forced the Bishop to retire ten years later in 2013.
The New York Times reported on Robinson's retirement, noting he said in a speech that "being at the center of an international uproar has taken a toll on him and on the diocese."
A writer at Religion News Service quotes one critic that says Robinson's divorce could potentially reignite tension in the church with some opponents using the divorce as a platform against same-sex marriage.
"I'm sure there might be some conservatives who might say, 'We told you so all along, if you depart from church teachings on homosexuality, you're opening the door to all kinds of chaos'"
This isn't the first time Robinson has gone through a divorce. He divorced his wife Isabella McDaniel and came out as gay in 1986. (Via YouTube / SuchIsLifeVideos)
With her 2010 election, Mary D. Glasspool in Los Angeles became the Episcopal Church's second openly gay bishop.