Openly gay Bishop Gene V. Robinson announced Saturday that he's retiring in 2013, the AP reported.

Robinson was elected the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church in 2003. His ordination created a deep divide between the 77 million-member Anglican Communion and its more liberal American branch, the Episcopal Church, and led to a self-imposed moratorium on the election of gay bishops.

The sixty-three-year-old bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire announced his plans at the annual diocesan convention in Concord.

The last seven years, he said, had “taken their toll on me, my family and you.” He added that the controversy over his installment coupled with death threats had “been a constant strain, not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark.”

In May, Episcopalians installed their second openly gay bishop, Assistant Bishop Mary D. Glasspool, who has been in a committed relationship with Becki Sanders for over 22 years, after lifting the ban on gay bishops at its general convention the year before. Her ascension further divided the two churches.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, called Glasspool's election “regrettable.”

Conservatives in the church opposed to openly gay clergy reacted by forming a rival church, the Anglican Church in North America.

The Episcopal Church further strained relationships last year when it authorized bishops to bless gay unions.

In thanking congregants for supporting him, Robinson said he believes they elected him because they believed he was the right leader. “The world has sometimes questioned that, but I hope you never did,” he said.