bad news from the united states episcopal church. they blinked. here is what the bbc online is saying about it this morning:
"Anglicans to halt gay ordinations
Leaders of the Episcopal Church in the United States have agreed to halt the ordination of gay clergy to prevent a split in the Anglican Church. The Church will also no longer approve prayers to bless same-sex couples. Many African Anglicans threatened to leave the worldwide Anglican Communion after the ordination of the first openly gay bishop four years ago. The American Church was told to meet the conditions by 30 September or lose membership of the communion. US bishops made the decision after a six-day meeting in New Orleans. The meeting was attended in part by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who urged the Episcopal Church to make concessions for the sake of unity. The Episcopal Church is the American wing of the Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide.
The BBC's religious affairs correspondent, Robert Pigott, says the agreement will help defuse the crisis triggered by the US Church's consecration of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in 2003. But traditionalists in the US are already making plans to set up their own independent Church. Conservative churchgoers believe homosexuality is contrary to the Church's teachings. However, liberal Anglicans have argued that biblical teachings on justice and inclusion should take precedence. The Episcopal bishops did reaffirm their commitment to the civil rights of gay people and said they opposed any violence towards them or violation of their dignity."