Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal church, has announced he is to divorce his partner.

Robinson, who retired last year as the Bishop of New Hampshire, had been with partner Mark Andrews for 25 years, and the pair married in 2008.

In a column for the Daily Beast, he wrote: “Recently, my partner and husband of 25-plus years and I decided to get divorced.

“While the details of our situation will remain appropriately private, I am seeking to be as open and honest in the midst of this decision as I have been in other dramatic moments of my life.

“The reasons for ending a marriage fall on the shoulders of both parties: the missed opportunities for saying and doing the things that might have made a difference, the roads not taken, the disappointments endured but not confronted.

“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.

“All of us sincerely intend, when we take our wedding vows, to live up to the ideal of ’til death do us part’, nut not all of us are able to see this through until death indeed parts us.

“My belief in marriage is undiminished by the reality of divorcing someone I have loved for a very long time, and will continue to love even as we separate. Love can endure, even if a marriage cannot.”

Robinson was recently picked to deliver closing prayers at a White House Easter meeting of 150 religious leaders.