Episcopal Church leaders in the United States have agreed to halt the selection of gay priests as bishops, in an attempt to head off a split in the Anglican Church. In addition, the church will no longer approve prayers to bless same-sex couples. The US bishops made the concessions after being threatened with expulsion from the worldwide Anglican Communion if they failed to comply by 30 September.
It is uncertain whether the concessions will placate many African Anglicans who are themselves threatening to leave the Communion following the ordination of the first openly gay US bishop Gene Robinson in 2003. The Episcopal Church is the American wing of the Anglican Communion which has 77 million members worldwide.