GENE Robinson, the openly-gay bishop who caused controversy in Anglican church ranks, has announced he is divorcing his partner of 25 years.

In a letter published on the Daily Beast website, Robinson, who was Bishop of New Hampshire in the USA, said he was seeking to be “open and honest in the midst of this decision as I have been in other dramatic moments of my life — coming out in 1986, falling in love, and accepting the challenge of becoming Christendom’s first openly-gay priest.”

Robinson and long term partner Mark Andrew entered into a civil union in June 2008 converting it to full marriage in 2010 after it become legal in New Hampshire.

“I always wanted to be a June bride,” Robinson told students in 2007 at Nova Southeastern University.

Robinson became a figurehead for the LGBTI community but his elevation to the position of bishop split the global Anglican community.

Hundreds of American parishes broke away following the consecration of an openly-gay man while then Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, shunned Robinson.

Robinson said he would not discuss the details of the break up or apportion blame.

“All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ’til death do us part,” he said.

“But not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.”

Andrew, said Robinson, was one of the “kindest, most generous and loyal human beings on earth.

“There is no way I could ever repay the debt I owe him for his standing by me through the challenges of the last decade.”

Robinson said his belief in same-sex marriage was undiminished and, in fact, proved the similarity between straight and gay relationships.

“It is at least a small comfort to me, as a gay rights and marriage equality advocate, to know that like any marriage, gay and lesbian couples are subject to the same complications and hardships that afflict marriages between heterosexual couples,” he said.

Robinson has two children from a previous marriage.

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