The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon church, is repealing a controversial policy. The policy that treated LGBTQ members as apostates and barred their kids from being baptized.
The church’s First Presidency, its top governing body, announced Thursday that while it still considers same-sex marriage to be a “serious transgression.” Queer church members in these relationships will not automatically be treated as apostates. Or individuals who in the church’s eyes have turned away from the principles of the gospel.
“Previously, our Handbook characterized same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy,” the church said in a statement. “While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
Statement of Church
The church, said it wants “to reduce the hate and contention so common today.”
The former policy, announced in 2015, had angered liberal and LGBT Mormons. And some 1,500 left the church in protest, according to one activist.
The church said that its doctrines on marriage and salvation, of which marriage is an integral part, will not change. LGBT Mormons are expected to be chaste, according to church teachings.
But LGBT parents can request that their children be blessed by a member of the church’s priesthood.”
“And, when the child turns 8, the church “will contact them and propose that the child be baptized,” the church said in its statement.
Nevertheless, the religious group’s views have been shifting. Between 2013 and 2017, church members’ opposition to marriage equality dropped 15 percentage points, according to PRRI.
Jana Riess, author of The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church, told HuffPost that her research for the 2016 Next Mormons Survey indicates that this shift could be driven by younger Mormons. The nationally representative study of four generations of current and former Mormons found that 40% of millennial respondents supported legalizing same-sex marriage, but only 20% of the baby-boom and silent-generation respondents agreed.
Source – huffingtonpost.in, edition.cnn.com, cbs46.com, independent.co.uk