First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Is Getting Divorced

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 4 2014 5:05 PM

First Openly Gay Episcopal Bishop Is Getting Divorced

104658032-bishop-gene-robinson-attends-the-case-for-gay-marriage
Bishop Gene Robinson attends "The Case for Gay Marriage" panel during the 2010 New Yorker Festival

Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for The New Yorker

The first openly gay Episcopal bishop is divorcing his husband and partner of 25 years. Bishop Gene Robinson, whose 2003 election led to a rift in the Anglican Church, announced his divorce in an email to the Diocese of New Hampshire, where he served for nine years before his 2012 retirement, reports the Associated Press. Robinson also wrote a piece in the Daily Beast about the divorce. Although Robinson notes that the “details of our situation will remain appropriately private” he highlighted that he wants to “be as open and honest in the midst of this decision as I have been in other dramatic moments of my life.” The retired bishop goes on:

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. 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.
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.
Advertisement

Robinson was ordained a priest in 1973 and first publicly came out as gay in 1986 when he divorced his wife. “He has since been open about the heavy toll he has faced under public scrutiny,” reports Religion News Service. “Four years ago, he underwent treatment for alcoholism.” Robinson met his future husband a year after his divorced and they moved in together soon afterward. The two men were joined in a civil union in New Hampshire in 2008, which then became a legal marriage in 2010.  Bishop is not the only openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church anymore as Bishop Mary D. Glasspool was consecrated in 2010.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 12:43 PM Watch Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey Do a Second City Sketch in 1997
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.