He heard God's voiceon December 31, 2012 @ 9:00 am (Updated: 9:08 am - 12/31/12 )
There are 100,000 members left as a result of that, but he has no regrets, because after trying therapy to cure himself of gayness, and after 13 years of heterosexual marriage, and two children, he heard God's voice.
"You know I actually felt called by God to come out," says Robinson.
He finally did at the age of 39. As for the first victories for gay marriage at the ballot box last November, Robinson says he thinks it represents an inevitable forward movement.
He predicts that Christian churches, even the Roman Catholic Church, will eventually change their minds when they come to understand what he believes Saint Paul is really saying about modern homosexuality in the New Testament, which is nothing.
"Saint Paul is arguing against a practice that would have been known to him in both the Greek and Roman world, which is an older man taking a younger boy under his wing and teaching him the ways of the world and using him sexually. No one is arguing for that today. That is child abuse," says Robinson.
As for the Catholic Church defining homosexuality as intrinsically disordered.
"I pray every day that the Roman Catholic Church would contemplate the seriousness of their words and the impact it has particularly on vulnerable, gay young people," says Robinson.
Bishop Gene Robinson's latest book is called "God Believes in Love."
Listen to full interview with Bishop Gene Robinson on The Ross and Burbank Show.