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First openly gay Episcopal bishop is getting a divorce
Michael Springer/Getty Images
Michael Springer/Getty Images

One of the main reasons the Church of England split apart from the Roman Catholic Church is that Rome wouldn't allow King Henry VIII to get a divorce. The Catholic Church still doesn't recognize divorce, or — like today's Church of England and its global Anglican Communion fellowship — allow married priests (with certain very specific exceptions), and it certainly wouldn't sanction an openly gay bishop marrying his partner.

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson, now retired, nearly prompted a schism in the Anglican Communion in 2003 when the New Hampshire diocese consecrated him as their bishop, despite his open relationship with partner Mark Andrew. Robinson and Andrew were joined in civil union in 2008, then wed two years later, after New Hampshire approved same-sex marriage. On Sunday, Robinson announced that, after 25 years together, he and Andrew are getting a divorce.

This is Robinson's second divorce — he was married to his wife from 1972 until 1986, when he came out as gay. He's still bullish on matrimony. "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 Sunday in The Daily Beast. "Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot."

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