Gay campaigners are warning that there may be fiercer religious opposition to pro-LGBT laws in the future amid reports that liberal bishops who support homosexual priests will be barred from certain churches and refused funds.

The Sunday Telegraph reported that the rift over gay clergy in the Church of England has got to the stage where liberal dioceses are wishing to break away from the denomination and create their own panel.

Meanwhile some conservative Christian groups in the UK, US and Africa have said they will not work with liberal clergy.

However, George Broadhead, Secretary of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association warned that this move would create a “more aggressively homophobic church.”

He said: “The schism in the Church of England over homosexuality grows increasingly acrimonious and divisive. The weak and vacillating Archbishop of Canterbury seems to have thrown in his lot with the evangelical bigots and the result will be a much more aggressively homophobic church.

“This translates into bad news for LGBT people, Anglican or not, who can expect much fiercer opposition to legislation and social progress in the years to come – starting in the UK with the Sexual Orientation Regulations due to come into force early next year.”

Last summer, the US Episcopal Church agreed to “exercise restraint” in ordaining gay bishops, as part of an effort to amend rifts within the Anglican Church after the appointment of gay bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson in 2003.

The African Anglican Church expressed dismay at the decision which ignored most of the recommendations of the Windsor Report, aimed at mending rifts between the church over the gay issue.