Gay members of the clergy within the Church of England are reportedly planning to defy the body’s call for celibacy among gay civil partners, according to recent reports in the Daily Telegraph.

It is reported that a number of clergy who are taking advantage of the new civil partnership laws with their partner have no intention of not having sex with their partner.

The response comes after bishops said gay clergy within the Church could hold civil partnerships with their partner but were not allowed to have sex once partnered. The Church of England allows heterosexual clergy to marry and have sex with their partner within marriage.

The bishops also said clergy should not give blessings to same-sex couples, as the Anglican community continues to stand separated on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Already, sections of the 70-million strong Anglican community are on the brink of separation over the blessing of lesbian and gay relationships in Canada and the appointment of a gay bishop in the US.

Conservative traditionalists say no national branches of the faith should recognize gay or lesbian people and instead reject homosexuality so as to keep in line with Biblical teachings.

According to the newspaper, several hundred gay clergy are planning to hold civil partnership ceremonies when the new laws come into force in December.

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