The Scottish Episcopal Church says that being a practicing homosexual is no bar to becoming a priest, a stance which puts it at odds with the Anglican Communion in other parts of the world.
It is believed to be the first time the Scottish church has publicly declared their position on gay clergy and blessings of homosexual couples, which have long been unwritten but commonly held acceptances.
The announcement comes at a delicate time for Anglicans worldwide and is in contrast to the Scottish Episcopal Church's sister body, the Church of England, which will ordain homosexuals only if they are not in a physical relationship.
At last month's crisis meeting of Anglican leaders in Northern Ireland, the issue of homosexuality threatened to split the international Anglican Communion.
Anglican leaders, meeting near Belfast, asked the U.S. Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada to withdraw from the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) for three years a move some fear could be the first step toward a permanent split in the communion.