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Anglican Church meeting split over homosexuality

Some Africans have threatened to quit if the church if it doesn’t take a firm stand against gay marriage.

FILE: Same-sex couple Mark Guzman and Scott Coatsworth embrace during a rally in support of marriage equality on March 26, 2013 in San Francisco, California. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The leader of the Anglican Church says a split over the issue of homosexuality would not be a disaster but it would be a failure.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was speaking ahead of the meeting of 38 Anglican leaders where some Africans have threatened to quit if the church if it doesn't take a firm stand against gay marriage.

Archbishop Welby says he wants reconciliation in the Anglican Church.

But that means finding ways to disagree well.

The 38 leaders in Canterbury range from US liberals, who accept openly gay clergy, to African homophobes mainly from Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria who see being gay as being a crime and an abomination.

The Anglican Church does not officially recognise gay marriage but it offers moral support to couples in single-sex relationships.