The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church has declared that the denomination will not cease its support for gay marriage despite its three-year suspension by the Anglican Communion last week.

"They heard from me directly that that's not something that we're considering," Bishop Michael Curry told The Associated Press on Friday, talking about the sanctions imposed on the denomination after its leaders refused support the biblical definition of marriage. "They basically understand we made our decision, and this is who we are, and we're committed to being a house of prayer for all."

At the same time, however, Curry said he wants to continue working toward Anglican unity despite the different points of view on the divisive issue.

"We are loyal members of the Anglican Communion, but we need to say we must find a better way," Curry said. "I really believe it's part of our vocation."

Leaders representing the worldwide Anglican body announced on Thursday that they are suspending The Episcopal Church, due to its vote in 2015 to authorize same-sex marriage ceremonies in church.

The Primates explained their decision in a statement: "The traditional doctrine of the Church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union. The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.

"Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other provinces could further exacerbate this situation," they added.

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