Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will step down early from his post after recieving numerous death threats.
"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, who has faithfully stood with me every minute of the last seven years, and in some ways, you. 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."
When Bishop Robinson was ordained in 2003 he had to wear a bulletproof vest under his robes due to all of the death threats. The normal age for retirement is 72 for bishops; Robinson will be 65 when he retires.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has tepidly defended Robinson while working hard to keep conservative church leaders happy and avoid a split in the church, did not make a statement about Robinson's decision. That seems about par for the course. As our children kill themselves and "good religious folk" threaten the lives of gay church leaders, the church itself stands by idly and sings hymns while the cathedral burns around them.