Gene Robinson’s ordination as a bishop of the New Hampshire diocese in 2003 divided the global Anglican communion.
In the US, hundreds of parishes broke away from the Episcopal Church – the US branch of Anglicanism – in protest, forming a new Anglican Church in North America.
The bishop became a symbol of the LGBT rights movement and an advocate for equal marriage.
In his letter, Bishop Robinson, who retired in 2012, said it was “a small comfort” to know that gay and lesbian couples “are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples”.
“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,” he said. “Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”
Bishop Robinson, 66, had previously been married to a woman with whom he had two children. They divorced amicably in 1985 over his sexuality.
Oh, well, this isn’t the first Anglican schism over a short- lived “marriage”, is it?
From Brendan O’ Neill’s excellent analysis:
This is what explains both the peculiarly speedy and strikingly authoritarian way in which gay marriage has been adopted by governments across the West who otherwise care little for freedom and choice – because officials recognise in it the opportunity to push further their instinctive hostility towards traditional communal and familial ideals that to a large extent exist outside of the purview of the state. Understanding the impulse behind Western officialdom’s feverish adoption of gay marriage is key to understanding what makes this new institution so illiberal and intolerant. Its great driving force is not any commitment to civil rights but rather an urge to coerce, a desire to reshape the views and ideals and habits of the public, to enforce a new morality that elevates individuation over family life, risk-awareness over commitment, and an openness to being guided through life by experts over loyalty to one’s family unit or community.
So when you criticise gay marriage, you’re not just criticising gay marriage, you’re challenging a new moral framework carved out by those who apparently know better than us what our private lives and relationships should and shouldn’t look like. You’re not just an opponent of gay marriage – you’re a moral heretic whose very thoughts and behaviour are seen as deviant, as running counter to a new, apparently better kind of morality. And that, as Eich’s treatment and everything else that preceded it has shown us, simply will not be tolerated.
“Some gay-marriage proponents also argue that the issue is unique, and opposition should be considered beyond the pale of social acceptance – seeking to dismiss Eich and others is therefore perfectly reasonable. According to this view, being against gay marriage is like – pick your analogy – opposing inter-racial marriage, backing the KKK, espousing neo-Nazism, etc. But this logic doesn’t hold up. For a start, in a free society, the expression of such ideas, however odious, should be tolerated (and argued against). More to the point, these analogies are wildly off the mark as a way to describe how gay marriage is viewed in society. Today, according to Pew Research, 46 per cent of Americans are not in favour of gay marriage; are we to believe that these millions of people are the equivalent of KKK members who should not be tolerated? Barack Obama was opposed to gay marriage until 2012, and Hillary Clinton was against it until last year; were these two on a par with neo-Nazis until their recent conversions?”
” This will affect many other companies, including other tech companies in Silicon Valley, that want to ‘align with the values of their employees’. Ridiculous as it may seem, ‘Are you, or have you ever been, opposed to gay marriage?’ could become a litmus test.