Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, announced Saturday that he'll retire in 2013, saying death threats and controversy contributed to the decision, The New York Times reports. Robinson made the surprise announcement while attending the annual diocesan convention in Concord, N.H.
"Death threats, and the now worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as bishop, have been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark" and on Episcopalians in the state, Robinson says.
"The fact is, the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you," Robinson says. "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."
Bishop Robinson was elected in 2003 and has since become a national figure. In 2009 he gave the invocation for the opening event of the inauguration of President Obama.
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