- The Washington Times - Monday, May 5, 2014

The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, announced in an email he is divorcing his husband, Mark Andrew, after 25 years of togetherness.

Mr. Robinson refused to explain his reasons, but only said in The Daily Beast on Sunday that he thanked Mr. Andrew “for standing by me through the challenges of the last decade,” The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Robinson sent the email to the Diocese of New Hampshire, where he worked until his retirement in 2012, for a total of nine years.

He made national headlines as the first church official to take advantage of the new Episcopal policy that let gay clergy openly serve.

“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, AP reported. “All of us sincerely intend, when we take out 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.”

Mr. Robinson received death threats during his consecration in 2003 as head of the New Hampshire Diocese and in 2006, went for treatment for alcoholism, AP reported. His election in the church led to the break-away of numerous Episcopal dioceses.

He had been married to a woman and had fathered two children before he came out as gay and divorced. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Andrew joined in 2008 in a civil union in New Hampshire, and married two years later when gay marriage became legal in the state.