It Didn’t Get Better For Gene Robinson: Death Threats Have Bishop Retiring Early

The last seven years — since becoming the Anglican church’s first gay non-celibate member of the clergy — have “taken their toll” on New Hampshire’s Bishop V. Gene Robinson, a funny guy. And so it’s with endless hate spewed at him from conservatives that played a part in his decision to retire early, in January 2013, he announced at an annual diocesan meeting: “Death threats, and the now-worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop, have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark, who has faithfully stood with me every minute of the last seven years, and in some ways, you. While I believe that these attitudes, mostly outside the diocese, have not distracted me from my service to you, I would be less than honest if I didn’t say that they have certainly added a burden and certain anxiety to my episcopate.” Mandatory retirement age for Episcopal bishops is 72; Robinson will step down at age 65.