Gene Robinson to divorce his husband, Mark Andrew

 

Gene Robinson to divorce his husband, Mark Andrew

Author: 

George Conger

The former Bishop of New Hampshire, the Rt Rev. V. Gene Robinson, announced today that he is divorcing his spouse and partner of 25 years, Mark Andrew.

Writing in the Daily Beast on 3 Mary 2014, Bishop Robinson stated: “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 it through.”

He stated that:

“Recently, 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. “

Rumors of marital problems have dogged the bishop in recent years. At the 2012 General Convention in Indianapolis, Bishop Robinson took to the floor of the House of Bishops to denounce what he called “scurrilous” questions asked by reporter David Virtue about the health of his marriage. In a towering rage, Bishop Robinson denounced the journalist for violating his privacy and rejected the suggestions of marital difficulties.

In his column Bishop Robinson wrote: “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.”

In 1986 Bishop Robinson divorced his wife and made public his sexual orientation. When his election as Bishop of New Hampshire came before the 2003 General Convention his daughters and partner, Mr. Andrew, were introduced to the deputies and to the media – and the bishop has long pointed to his own life and relationships in support of arguments for changing church teaching on gay marriage.

After New Hampshire legalized same-sex unions in 2008, Bishop Robinson and Mr. Andrew registered their partnership with the state. On 1 January 2011, their civil union was converted into a marriage under New Hampshire law.

The bishop noted that there was “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. 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.”

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