CHARLESTON A state judge has issued a restraining order protecting the name of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina.

The order by Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein late Wednesday says no one but the diocese that split from the national Episcopal Church last year can use that name or several others that the diocese has registered with the state.

The diocese in eastern and lower South Carolina left the national church after years of disagreements over doctrine including ordination of gays.

There has been confusion because some churches from the diocese are remaining with the national church. That group is holding a convention this weekend to elect a bishop for their churches.

Goodstein has set a hearing in Columbia next month on whether a more permanent injunction should be issued.