Australia’s Anglican bishops have blocked a move to have the church affirm that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
At the General Synod on the Gold Coast, the bishops vetoed the motion by 12 votes to 10.
They over-ruled both the church laity and clergy which supported a clear rejection of same-sex marriage.
The Archbishop of Sydney Kanishka Raffel warned it puts the church is in a perilous position which could drive conservative members away.
Some delegates argued it was unbiblical to bless same-sex marriage while others pleaded with the Synod to embrace the diversity of people of faith.
It was the first national meeting since the church upheld a decision by the Wangaratta Diocese to bless ‘civil’ same-sex marriages.
Nine newspapers report each diocese can still make its own decisions, just as they do on the ordination of women.