Attempts to impose homosexual clergy on the Church of Scotland still face “very strong” opposition within the church, according to media reports.
All public discussion by Kirk clergy about homosexual ordination is banned until a Special Commission publishes a report on the subject in 2011.
But newspapers report that a secret ballot of 35,000 senior church members has shown many Church presbyteries are set firmly against the appointment of homosexual ministers.
The Church of Scotland appointed Scott Rennie, a divorced father-of-one who lives with his homosexual partner, as minister of a church in Aberdeen last year.
Commenting on the ballot, an unnamed insider said: “My sense is that the commission is in favour of allowing gay ministers but they are getting results that they didn’t want to hear.”
Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen all showed opposition, according to the survey.
A number of members have said they are considering leaving the Church over the dispute. Evangelical ministers have some of the largest congregations in the Church.
Another source commented that some groups are “split down the middle” on the issue.
Dunblane Cathedral in Perthshire voted strongly in favour of homosexual ministers.
A church spokesman said: “The special commission has sought the views from all presbyteries and Kirk sessions through the consultation paper.”
The spokesman added the responses were being analysed and would be reported to the General Assemby in May next year.
Last year a group of like-minded congregations was set up to oppose homosexual ordination in Scotland.
The Fellowship of Confessing Churches says any church which becomes a member should prominently display a covenant agreement making clear its commitment to marriage as the proper place for sexual intimacy. It currently lists 59 churches as members.