First openly gay Episcopal bishop to divorce his ‘husband’
NEW HAMPSHIRE, May 5, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The first openly gay bishop the Episcopal Church, whose election in 2003 helped split the squabbling denomination in two, has announced that he and his homosexual partner of more than a quarter-century are divorcing. They were "married" in 2010 after participating in the state's civil union laws in 2008.
According to Vicky Gene Robinson, who retired as a bishop in 2013 and is currently a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress, "it takes two people to make a marriage and two people to make a divorce." But Robinson said that despite the legal separation, he "will be forever grateful to [Mark]" for "standing by me through the challenges of the last decade."
The divorce was the bishop's second – Robinson was married to a woman for 14 years. Homosexual activists have responded to the news of the high-profile dissolution by saying that homosexual and heterosexual marriages often end in divorce.
However, a 2004 Family Research Council study showed that only five percent of homosexual couples in America are still together after 20 years, while nearly 58 percent of heterosexuals were still married 20 years after walking down the aisle.
Likewise, a Netherlands study has found that the "duration of steady partnerships" typically led to a dissolving of the relationship after less than two years. Similarly, married heterosexual men are far more likely to be loyal to their spouses than homosexual males to their significant others.
"The individual case of Gene Robinson and his partner's divorce is not about individuals, but about the interpretation of marriage and the destruction of the traditional family,” Archbishop Peter D. Robinson, Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America, told LifeSiteNews.
"What the Churches need to be absolutely clear about is that when we discuss marriage we are talking not just about...the fact that matrimony reflects the mystical union between Christ and His Church," Archbishop Robinson (no relation to Bishop Gene Robinson) told LifeSiteNews. "I also believe that the Robinson-Andrew divorce should widen the debate to include the fact that marriage is not a throw away relationship, but is of a lifelong and sacramental character.”
He also said we must face the “realization that unwittingly many churches have condoned the divorce culture in the West."
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Archbishop Robinson said that while "Bishop Robinson, and many other mainline Church leaders, advocate a view of marriage that is based not on Scripture but on an exalted notion of romantic love," they are showing "a basic misunderstanding about the holy character of marriage."
"Matrimony brings stability to society by creating a stable environment in which children can be raised using the complimentary gifts of husband and wife," he said.
On his morning radio show, Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, had some sharp comments for Robinson. Mohler said that Bishop Gene Robinson erred in saying that while "all of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of 'til death do us part'....not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us."
According to Mohler, "the words 'til death do us part' are not statements of an ideal. They are statements of a vow."
Mohler went on to criticize Gene Robinson for "a pattern of evading Scripture" and avoiding "common sense."
Leading orthodox Anglican David Virtue was similarly critical, noting that Robinson's op-ed talked about privacy, despite the very public life led by Robinson.
"It’s 'private' he says. Really? For the last dozen years his lifestyle has been anything but private," Virtue wrote. "He [Robinson] has traipsed the world and the U.S. promoting and pushing his homoerotic lifestyle, wearing it like a huge badge on his chest challenging anyone who opposed it by shaking the fist of homophobia in their faces."
Robinson's elevation to bishop was one of the primary triggers that led to the split of the Episcopalian Church. It created an enormous controversy in that church, and many left over the growing support for same-sex "marriage" among leadership and laity alike.
Since retiring as bishop, Robinson has continued to be in the public eye. He offered a prayer at Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009 and took part in the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast.