1,500 Mormons Leave Church Over New Same-Sex Marriage Policy

Photo: George Frey/Getty Images.
Approximately 1,500 people have submitted resignations from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after it announced a new policy that excludes the children of same-sex couples. More than 1,000 people gathered this weekend in Salt Lake City to protest the church's decision, which labels LGBT couples as apostates and bars their children from being baptized until they are 18.

The Mormon church instituted the policy earlier this month. Young people who want to be baptized in the Mormon faith must not only wait until they are legal adults, they also must denounce same-sex marriage and live independently from their parents. The church now considers same-sex marriage to be an offense serious enough to warrant excommunication.

Mormon leaders had appeared to be softening at least a little to same-sex couples and LGBT members. This summer, the church made its first-ever donation to a Utah LGBT group. The church pushed for an anti-discrimination ordinance in the state, which the state legislature passed in March. Salt Lake City has also become known for tolerance despite its close association with the LDS church.

“We hope that today’s guidance from church leaders and the additional commentary will help provide understanding and context to some who may be considering resigning their membership,” a church representative said in a statement.

There are approximately 15 million Mormons worldwide. Another protest is planned for next Saturday.
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