A path into history
1947: V. Gene Robinson is born in Kentucky.
1973: Robinson earns a Master of Divinity degree from General Theological Seminary in New York City and is ordained a priest in New Jersey.
1975: Robinson moves to New Hampshire.
1986: Married with two children, Robinson acknowledges he is gay. He and his wife, Isabella McDaniel, divorce.
1999: Robinson, an assistant bishop, is narrowly defeated in an election to choose the next bishop of Rochester.
2000: Episcopal priests in Vermont began blessing same-sex unions after the state’s civil-union law was adopted.
2003: Robinson is elected bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire. The move becomes a cause célèbre worldwide. In the fall, Robinson is consecrated as the first openly gay bishop in the history of Christendom. Some US Episcopal dioceses start to pull away from the national church. Other churches abroad threaten schism from the Anglican Communion.
2005: A crisis in the Anglican Communion looms after church leaders ask the US and Canadian churches to withdraw their representatives from a key panel, citing Robinson’s election and the churches’ blessings of same-sex unions. The group later backs down.
2006: Robinson is treated for alcoholism. The Episcopal Church votes to effectively prohibit the consecration of new gay bishops.
2008: The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, does not invite Robinson to the Lambeth Conference, a decennial assembly of bishops. Robinson is joined in a civil union to Mark Andrew, his partner of 20 years. Their union was converted to a marriage this year, when same-sex marriage became legal in New Hampshire.
2009: Robinson delivers the invocation at an inaugural celebration for Barack Obama. The Episcopal Church lifts its 3-year-old effective moratorium on approving gay bishops. The Diocese of Los Angeles elects a lesbian, the Rev. Mary Glasspool, assistant bishop.
2010: Robinson announces he will retire in 2013.