First openly gay Episcopal bishop to retire
November 8th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

First openly gay Episcopal bishop to retire

Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, said Saturday that death threats and continued worldwide controversy about his selection contributed to his decision to retire in January 2013.

Robinson's announced retirement surprised many of those attending the annual diocesan convention in Concord, New Hampshire.

The bishop, who has served in the post in New Hampshire since early 2004, said he is energized about his next two years of ministry and support of clergy and congregations as the process of naming his successor moves forward.

But turning 66 in 2013 and the "constant strain" from the church schism were factors in his decision, Robinson said in prepared remarks. The bishop said he is in his fifth year of sobriety after receiving treatment for alcohol abuse.

"The fact is, the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you," he told those attending the convention. "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."

Read the full story here.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars • Episcopal • Gay rights • Homosexuality

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Romans 1:26,27; John 3:16; Galatians 5:19-23; ! Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Peter 2:17

    September 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  2. CJ

    I'm glad he's stepping down. It proves to me Robinson *isn't* in it for himself (fame/glory), which is what I'd feared.

    November 14, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  3. humanbeef

    Speaking in generalities is fun but rarely is it accurate. SOME who CLAIM to be Christian make death threats and say things like "God hates gays". just because someone sits in a building with a cross on it doesn't make them a Christian. I could sit in a football stadium, that wouldn't necesarily make me a football player. It's your actions that show whether you belong to Jesus or not. To say "Yep, Christians (meaning all christians) say 'God hates gays', so they all must not believe their Bible ", is to oversimplify the issue and to be guilty of small-mindedness. Kind of like if I said "Yep, all Muslims blow up innocent people, guess they don't believe their Koran." or "Yep, all Jews steal money from people, i guess they don't believe their Tanakh". All such comments are simple-minded and ignorant (some betray bigotry). When you've met EVERY Christ-professing person on earth THEN and only then will you be qualified to make universal statements about the whole group.

    November 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • CJ

      I couldn't agree more.

      However, I'm through with *organized* religion. Have my beliefs, which I'm now happy to keep at home.

      November 14, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  4. Reality

    o All "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:
    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions abide by the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    November 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  5. Peace2All

    In the opening of the interview with Bishop Gene Robinson:

    "Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, said Saturday that death threats and continued worldwide controversy about his selection contributed to his decision to retire in January 2013."

    This is rid-iculous and outrageous...!! I was hoping, (and have not lost hope yet) that the bigotry toward people that are in same s-e-x relationships, is starting to dwindle.

    This is bigotry, hatred, intolerance, fear-mongering and beyond. Face it fundies, at some point, and it may be farther in the future than I would like, but.. gay people, gay marriage, and gay clergy are all going to come about, as it 'is' the right thing to do... which is to see them as equals.

    Let's get it done sooner rather than later...

    November 8, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • CW

      @ Peace2All

      First off I don't endorse the death threats and such as we are to Love each other and hate the SIN. With that said being g-a-y and openly saying your a christian don't mix.

      I will always vote agains g-a-y marriage.....its wrong...per THE BIBLE

      So no....I hope that during my lifetime and beyond that this abomination never never happens.

      November 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said-----

      "@ Peace2All"

      "First off I don't endorse the death threats and such as we are to Love each other and hate the SIN. With that said being g-a-y and openly saying your a christian don't mix."

      ME--Glad to hear that you, as a fundamentalist, are not one of the *crazies* offering death threats.–Good to know. However, apparently, again, a lot of Christians would disagree with your 'brand' of Christianity. Quite a few denominations nowadays, are o.k, and welcome people that are LGBT. And... the denominations/christian churches are growing.

      You Said-----

      "I will always vote agains g-a-y marriage.....its wrong...per THE BIBLE"

      ME--So, I will assume, that as a sinner, you have plucked your own eye out, or have cut off one of your limbs, as a sinner...? Plus, all of the other mult-itude of things commanded of you, if you sin, or break one of the countless commandments. Unless, of course, you say you have *never* sinned...? Hmmm.....?

      You Said------

      "So no....I hope that during my lifetime and beyond that this abomination never never happens."

      ME---Sorry, CW, again the Christian Churches and denominations are already moving in that direction. Let me clarify that last statement a bit. 'More and more' are moving in that direction of tolerance, acceptance, and allowance.

      So, sorry CW your 'old style' bigotry will *not* last. Some states, it is 'already' now 'legal' for gay couples to marry. It *is* just a matter of time.

      November 9, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
    • Blast the deluded religious people from all political discourse!!!

      Shall we hate the sin of women wearing pants? Eating shrimp at Red Lobster? Shall we HATE them like these vicious cherry-pickers HATE ga-ys?
      Let's put pants to a vote, and shrimp, too. And ham. Let's outlaw ham, then only outlaws will have ham.

      CW, you are a dumb-ass retard for voting against something that doesn't concern you, doesn't have anything to do with you, and is NONE of your BUSINESS!
      Marriage is two people who want to be married who get married....period. Mary was very young, probably nine years old or so, when Joseph married her...and Joseph was OLD and married her out of a sense of duty after drawing lots.
      If Jesus can be born to an old man and a young girl, who probably didn't even have se-x...or did they consummate the marriage and therefore Mary was NOT a virgin when she gave birth to Jesus?
      If the marriage was not consummated, then it was null, and Jesus was born to a single mother out of wedlock.

      All these details....and STILL these so-called Christians have no clue how stupid they look for cherry-picking only those things they feel a personal distaste for...like ga-ys...and then they TURN RIGHT AROUND and say that Jesus "fulfilled" the law and therefore we don't have to actually follow it anyway...especially when it concerns something they really want to do without getting in trouble over it.


      November 9, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • CW

      @ Peace2all

      you say...my brand of Christianity. Let me say that its not my form of christianity. Anyone who is a christain must first repent and ask the Lord to come into there life and change them. That act is one in which one TURNS from their sins...that includes the g-a-y lifestyle. Living as God wants us to is a choice..an act of the will. I will also say that in THE BIBLE when Jesus said to Mary Magdaline..Go and sin no more...that meant that he had forgiven her...that she couldn't live in sin anymore and call herself a christian.

      @ Reality,

      I truly feel sorry for you...I do pray for you though. Maybe you will change. If not you'll get your chance on Judgement day to talk of your propaganda rants one last time.

      @ Blast the religious folks off political,

      Don't know what to say....seems you definetly don't read THE BIBLE. Okay...lets play...show me in THE BIBLE where in the NEW TESTIMENT it said that its okay for a man to lay with another man. Show me....We both know what it states in the OLD TESTIMENT...and I hear your rambling about goat hair...and women wearing pants....you know the story there so I won't go back into it. ANYWAY SHOW ME...THERE ISN'T AN SCRIPTURE THAT SAYS ITS OKAY FOR G-A-Y-S TO MARRY..PERIOD.

      November 9, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
    • CW

      @ Peace2all,

      By the way...my beliefs will NEVER accept that being G-A-Y IS OKAY. My church will NEVER ACCEPT IT EITHER!!!!

      November 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm |
    • Peace2All


      You Said----@ Peace2all,

      "By the way...my beliefs will NEVER accept that being G-A-Y IS OKAY. My church will NEVER ACCEPT IT EITHER!!!!"

      Hi CW.... Well, on one level, it really doesn't matter, whether your 'beliefs' or... your church will accept that being gay is o.k. or not. It is however, unfortunate, that you cling on to your bigoted moral stance. But, that is your right.

      However, it is without question extremely unfortunate for you and your church, because, over time, more and more christians, and their churches(you guys can argue over which one is the *true* christian church), are being accepting and tolerant of LGBT's. And, they are being afforded more equality under the law, and they are also, loved by your God.


      November 9, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
    • CW

      @ Peace2All

      Let me say your said that more and more christians are accepting g-a-y people into their church. That is their choice if they want to say that but its wrong....and any church or religion that does this is a disgrace to God. I'm not saying that I don't Love and Pray for G-a-y people b/c they do need prayer and Love. Those that call themself's christian and tolerate this sin are wrong....I can't call myself a christian and hate anyone or live the way I want to. That is the reason I say that the two don't mix because when you repent and receive forgiveness you are to turn away from ALL SIN....THIS INCLUDES LIVING A G-A-Y LIFESTYLE and live according to God's word. No where in THE BIBLE was it ever said that its okay for man to marry another man...it did say that it NOT OKAY...period. I stand against this and many many many many other true christians do too.

      November 10, 2010 at 9:01 am |
    • HotAirAce


      You say "Anyone who is a christain must first repent ..." I say all you have to do is "check your brains at the door" before you start reading, and believing, your silly book of tribal myths...

      November 12, 2010 at 2:39 am |
  6. Vrodel

    episcopate – say that three times while drunk and watch your lips fall off.

    November 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.