Liberal speakers Sunday condemned the covenant during debate at a General Synod in York, while conservatives hailed it as necessary to restore their trust from a conflict over homosexuality, The Telegraph reported.
The Anglican Communion, under the Church of England, has been debating the way forward since the consecration in 2003 of Gene Robinson as a bishop in the United States. Robinson, of New Hampshire, is gay and lives openly with his partner.
Robinson's consecration outraged church conservatives, particularly in Africa, who already were upset over church blessings for same-sex couples.
Conservatives hope the covenant proposed Sunday will prevent the consecration of gay bishops, though the final wording has yet to be determined.