London: The Church of England has dropped its prohibition on gay clergy in civil partnerships becoming bishops, provided the men vow to remain celibate.
The issue has split the church since 2003 amid a row over gay cleric Jeffrey John becoming Bishop of Reading.
John, now Dean of St Albans, was forced to withdraw from the role shortly after having initially accepted it, following protests from traditionalists, the BBC reports.
He was also a candidate for Bishop of Southwark in 2010 but was rejected.
Evidence emerged that this was because of his sexual orientation.
According to the report, conservative evangelical Anglicans say they will fight the move in the Church`s ruling general synod.