The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson has announced in messages to the House of Bishops and to the people of the Diocese of New Hampshire that he and Mark Andrew will be divorced.
Bishop Robinson, who serves as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote about the decision at greater length in his regular column for The Daily Beast.
“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,” he wrote in the column.
“As my marriage to Mark ends, I believe him to be one of the kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth. There is no way I could ever repay the debt I owe him for his standing by me through the challenges of the last decade. I will be forever grateful to him, and as I tell couples in pre-marital counseling, ‘Marriage is forever, and your relationship will endure — whether positively or negatively — even if the marriage formally ends.’”
Robinson and Andrew gave a glimpse of their home life in Love Free or Die, director Macky Alston’s documentary about Robinson’s life as a bishop and the Episcopal Church’s decades-long debates about sexuality, ordination, and whether to bless same-sex couples.
Andrew and Robinson had been a couple since meeting each other in the late 1980s, and they participated in a civil-union ceremony in 2008, soon after New Hampshire recognized such unions. Two years later New Hampshire extended recognition to same-sex marriage.
Andrew is a longtime employee of New Hampshire’s department of health and human services.