One Equal World

Mormon Church Bans Children of Same-Sex Couples from Baptism and Blessings

Posted on: November 6, 2015

The Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah. Image: Shutterstock

The Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah. Image: Shutterstock

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints quietly changed its policy (part of their guide for lay leaders “Handbook 1”) to exclude children of same-sex couples from taking part of the church’s blessings. Under new church policies, Mormon same-sex couples will be considered apostates and their children will be excluded from blessing and baptism rituals (without permission of the faith’s leaders). This rule will remain until they are the age of 18.

Implemented on Thursday and sent to Mormon congregations, the changes were approved by the church’s council after the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of same-sex marriages and high courts across the country.

Spokesman for the Sale Lake City church, Eric Hawkins told NBC News that the policy revisions had been in the works for quite some time:

“The church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”

As you can imagine, not too many people are happy about the new policies.

Jana Riess, a columnist with Religion News Services, was outraged that children born to rapists and murderers can be baptized and blessed, but not children of same-sex couples.

“It’s heartbreaking for me to see my church drawing this line in the sand, which leaves faithful L.G.B.T. members with an impossible choice: they can either be excluded from lifelong love and companionship, or excluded from the blessings of the church,” she said.

The recent policy changes were also perceived as “directly aimed” at destroying same-sex couples, thought Equality Utah, an advocacy group for the LGBT community.

“We support all families and believe that these divisive policies do not represent the Utah values of inclusion and respect,” Equality Utah said.

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