Facing His Own Divorce, Bishop Gene Robinson Says He Still Believes In Marriage

gene-robinson-TH-360x281Gene Robinson is used to be a high-profile figure. The first openly gay Episcopal bishop, Robinson has delivered prayers at presidential events, faced death threats and counseled gay Catholic priests. Now Robinson is facing another major event publicly: the decision of he and his husband, Mark Andrew, to divorce.

Robinson announced the end of the 25-year relationship in a post on the Daily Beast that begins “Life is hard.” (No kidding.) Robinson said that “the details of our situation will remain appropriately private,” but he does credit Andrew for being “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,” Robinson says. “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.’”

At the time he was preparing for his wedding to Andrew, Robinson joked, “I always wanted to be a June bride.” Now he admits that sadness at “the missed opportunities for saying and doing the things that might have made a difference, the roads not taken, the disappointments endured but not confronted.”

Still, Robinson says he maintains his faith in marriage. “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 writes. “Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”

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    PR disaster prone clown. Should have stuck at it..for the sake of the children. Yeah, it’s called self-sacrifice. Isn’t that what you people are supposed to believe in? You’re nearly dead, so really what’s the fucking point? Christofascists everywhere applaud your brave move. SMH

  • tardis

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: Although I think it’s complicated, I often wonder this. What exactly do people think marriage is?

  • Billy Budd

    Everybody marries, divorces, marries again. Or doesn’t marry at all, like me.

  • Scribe38

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: News flash sometimes relationships just don’t last and its not anyone’s fault. 25 years is a very good run. It is nothing to be ashamed of. He is a good man. He has showed that there are different types of gay men, even some that do believe in God. There is room for all of us in the tent. I have been with the same dude for 20 years but that doesn’t mean it will last 20 more. If it does end it doesn’t mean what we had wasn’t of worth or special, just that it ended like a lot of relationships do. The guy is going through a divorce, have a heart and give him a break.

  • Polaro

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: I suggest not being such a prick. You think it is snarky. We think it is just being a douche.

  • Throbert McGee

    I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I think it’s good that Robinson takes a stand in favor of grown-up, amicable divorces if things can’t be worked out. As St. Anni-Frid of the Lyngstad sang:

    Thanks for all your generous love
    And thanks for all the fun.
    Neither you nor I’m to blame
    When all is said and done.

    I was in a seven-year LTR in my 20s and am still in social contact with my ex and his second hubby (they recently celebrated their 12th anniversary), so I appreciate all this.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, I think it goes without saying that someone who attained the title of “bishop” ought to hold himself to a higher standard than the rank-and-file laity.

    Furthermore, although Gene Robinson and his ex-husband were “together” for 25 years, they only got married in 2008. Were there really no warning signs eight years ago that there were fissures in the relationship?

    Did Robinson truly believe in the promise of faithfulness through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, etc., or did he just want to have a wedding to get some Calaphon cookware and in order to secure his place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the first openly-gay Episcopalian bishop to get legally gay-married?

    Of course, I don’t know the details of why they went splitsville, but it doesn’t help same-sex couples a bit if a public figure like Robinson does his part to dilute and dumb-down the concept of marriage.


    For the sake of the terminally dim I’ll spell it out. My opposition is not to divorce pe se, only the HIGH PROFILE divorce of this HIGH PROFILE homosexual cleric — arguably THE most controversial Anglican in the world presently — who made such a HIGH fucking PROFILE song and dance about gay fucking weddings and the sanctity thereof and other shit. Couldn’t they at the very least just kept it on the low. I’m sure there are a million ways, less embarrassing to our cause, especially in Africa Anglican bigot context, in which he could have ended the relationship. I mean, Christ!! Amen.

  • Polaro

    Like a civil divorce?


    Oh and the alcoholism didn’t help. Like I said, PR disaster! It makes him look, and by extension risks our cause looking flaky as fuck. Especially if viewed from the perspective of someone, say, in the developing world who’s sitting on the fence on these issues. That’s where the real battle is on right now not America/Western Europe where Christianity has received the last rites. This idiot hasn’t helped.

  • Throbert McGee

    To what Prince of Snarkiness said, I’ll add: I live in Fairfax, VA, less than a mile from what used to be a theologically conservative Episcopalian church but is now an ultra-liberal Episcopalian church. The Episcopalians had a schism over gay marriage, the conservatives who used to call themselves Episcopalian now call themselves something like “American Anglicans in communion with Ethiopia” (or something like that), and they got booted out of the church building that they had attended for years, and a far more liberal sub-denomination came in to take their place.

    I’m not Episcopalian, or even a Christian of any stripe, so in some ways I have no dog in this fight — but, as Prince of Snarkiness said, this does have repercussions in the developing world (not to mention developed but highly traditionalist Russia).

  • Billy Budd

    Divorce is as normal as gay sex. It should be no big deal. We can’t demand anybody to stay on a dead relationship just because it is good for the press.

  • Lance Mullholland

    I’ve grown up around four clergy families, and none of them were functional or close to sane. My partner of 10 years was a f*cked-up preacher’s kid (Lutheran), and the whole family of 5 and the grandkids are big messes. No clergy wife made of the 4 I personally knew made it through their husband’s career without at least one extended “rest” (e.g. nervous breakdown), and the children were under such intense scrutiny growing up that two – that I know of – have killed themselves.

    While the Roman Church model is the priest’s gift of chastity, I am prone to believe that celibacy works best in the vocation of Holy Orders.

    Even this comfortable “middle way” church of good manners, quaint architecture & social graces has its problems. I (barely) remember an Episcopal parish where the women wore hats & veils at mass, and banns of marriage were posted on the church door, 3 months before the ceremony. Times have changed!

    Best of wishes to +Gene and Andrew for life – which is this very minute and every moment yet to come…

  • James Hart

    This guy is ridiculous.

  • James Hart

    @PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID: I think he went public with his divorce because he is an ego maniac who loves the attention he’s getting. He’s irrelevant now, and so he needed to get back in the headlines again. This divorce announcement was a suitable vehicle for doing so.

  • Blackceo

    @Billy Budd:

    Thank you. If people are so bothered by even Gene Robinson getting divorced because you think its bad for the cause then you had a piss poor argument to begin with. It would be one thing if the divorce rate was 5%, but its around 50.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    G.R. sounds as though he’s in a ton of pain. It makes me feel for him. I wish them both peace and well being.

  • Kangol


    Excellent question.

    It is his life, though. But I wish LGBTQ people would at least think marriage through a bit more. It has proved quite problematic for women for centuries, and one of the things gay people challenged in the 1960s and 1970s was mimicking and following heterosexuals. Marry, for the legal and governmental benefits, but do so with a full understanding of what such a relationship entails, and create the actual relationship that works for you.

    I’ll just add that Gene Robinson always wins points from me for having been a brave pioneer, but he’s also always been a bit of a dingbat too.

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