CHICAGO - A nationally-renowned Episcopal pastor announced this week he is divorcing his husband of four years, Associated Press reports.
The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Gene Robinson, has been acclaimed as a pioneer for gay rights, advocate for gay marriage and the subject of several books and a documentary about Christianity, the Bible and same-sex relationships. He delivered the benediction at the opening 2009 inaugural event for President Barack Obama and, after retirement, became a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a Democratic think tank with close ties to the White House.
Robinson, 66, had been married to a woman and had two children before he and his wife divorced. He and Mark Andrew had been partners for more than a decade when Robinson was elected to lead a New Hampshire Diocese. The two men were joined in a 2008 civil union in New Hampshire, and it became a legal marriage when the state recognized gay marriage in 2010.
"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," Robinson wrote. "Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot."