Anglican church debates final position on homosexuality

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As the decision deadline creeps up the Anglican community waits to hear whether the church will split over their official position on homosexuality.

A 30 September deadline has been set by the Anglican church for the American Episcopal Church to agree to a full ban on any appointing new gay bishops or approving same sex civil partnerships within the clergy.

The conservatives and liberals within the American Episcopal Church will either divide, with whole dioceses, rather than simply parishes, relocating over the issues, or be reunited by a compromised pro-gay agenda, which is currently being discussed by a coalition that is working to keep the church together.

The American liberal wing of the church has clashed with the Church of England and provinces of the Anglican Church on the issue of ordaining openly gay bishops and recognising same sex civil partnerships for clergy members since Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Anglican Bishop, was ordained Bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

“I do not assume that homosexual inclination is a disease,” the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, told bishops earlier in the conference.

He warned that “violence against gay and lesbian people is inexcusable,” adding: “Gay and lesbian people have a place in the Church as do all the baptised.”