A Scottish Anglican church has reignited the row over gay clergy after declaring that homosexuality would not prevent someone from becoming a priest.
It is believed to be the first time The Scottish Episcopal Church has publicly declared its position on gay clergy and blessings of homosexual couples.
The church's view differs from the Anglican Communion in other parts of the world, which is in turmoil over the consecration of gay US Bishop Gene Robinson.
The College of Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church said it had "never regarded the fact that someone was in a close relationship with a member of the same sex as in itself constituting a bar to the exercise of an ordained ministry".
The statement was made on the church website in a response to a February meeting of 35 top world Anglican leaders.
The Scottish bishops also said clergy, on occasion, responded to requests to give a blessing to same-sex couples.