The majority of Church of Scotland presbyteries have backed the appointment of gay ministers.
32 of 45 of the governing bodies across Scotland said ministers and deacons who are in a civil partnership should be allowed to apply to vacant spots.
This is not the final decision, with that taking place in May at the Edinburgh General Assembly.
A total of 1,391 presbytery members voted in favour and 1,153 against, resulting in a 54.6%-45.4% split.
Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling presbyteries backed the proposals.