Gay clergy will no longer be forced to vow celibacy under new proposals to be announced by Church of England bishops, according to the Sunday Times.
Current rules mean LGBT clergy promise to be sexually chaste, even if
they are in a long term relationship, whenever they apply for a new
role or seek promotion.
But changes thought to be put to the Church's parliament, general synod, next month, would remove this requirement.
Gay clergy would still be expected to adhere to the Church's teaching
that intercourse should only be in heterosexual marriage, but their
superiors, according to the Sunday Times, will not question them on it.
It follows similar claims by the Mail On Sunday in December.
Church's House of Bishops will meet on Monday and are expected to
finalise the proposals before they are bought before synod in February.
They are thought to emphasise that gay Christians must be fully
welcomed but not move to change the current ban on gay blessings on
marriages in church.
The proposal comes as the next stage in a long and divisive debate
over sexuality after Parliament legalised gay marriage in 2013.
In comments to the Sunday Times, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, a Christian
in a civil partnership, threatened parliament could intervene if change
does not come soon.
"It is progress for them to stop asking the celibacy question but it
still leaves the Church of England policy based essentially on
dishonesty and encouraging its clergy to lie," he said.
"There is a growing sense that if the church can't sort this out for themselves, then parliament may have to do it for them."