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Religious Tolerance logo

The LDS Church (The Mormons) & homosexuality

2015-NOV-08: Part 3 of 4 parts:

How the LDS Church's new policies
affect the children of same-sex parents.
Some critical remarks about these policies.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay.

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The impacts on the Church's new policies on children:

Most children who are born, adopted, or taken into foster care, etc. by a Mormon parent or parents go through a series of church rituals. The first occurs during their infancy and involves receiving a name and a blessing. They are later baptised by immersion in water, typically at about 8 years-of-age. The child's next sacrament usually comes shortly after baptism, when she or he is confirmed by the Church and is believed to receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Later, most Mormon males are ordained into the Aaronic Priesthood at the age of 12 or later. Many church members in their late teens and early twenties spend time as a Mormon missionary and are assigned to work with other volunteers in one of over 400 LDS missions. Here they engage in proselytizing, church service, humanitarian aid, and community servce. They usually serve in a foreign country.

The LDS Church policies are profoundly sexist. Every young woman is automatically excluded from ordination. Single women have only recently allowed to engage in missionary work.

This new section of the Handbook appears to punish all children "of a parent living in a same-gender relationship." Such children will no longer:

  • as newborns, be allowed to receive a church naming and blessing ritual;

  • be baptized circa 8 years-of-age;

  • be confirmirmed shortly afterwards;

  • if male, be considered for ordination to the priesthood at 12 years-of-age;

  • be considered for missionary service.

That is, even if children in Mormon families feel a profound attachment to the LDS church, they cannot become members.

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Webmaster's personal opinion:

A major increase in the level of bullying, humiliation, and other abuse is certain to be experienced by children of same-sex parents because of this policy.

Many, perhaps most, children of same-sex parents will feel that they are cut off by the LDS Church. They will probably be lost to the Church forever.

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A provision to end the ban when the child becomes an adult:

The ban is not necessarily permanent. The new section in the Handbook states that when a child "of a parent living in a same-gender relationship" becomes of "legal age," she or he may approach the Church's Office of the First Presidency and request to be baptized, confirmed, ordained (if a male) and recommended for missionary service. The legal age depends upon the country in which they live, but is typically 18 to 21 years. If their request is accepted, the adult child must:

  • Leave the home in which they were raised, even if, in the case of a single-parent household, their parent no longer lives with a person of the same gender,

  • Promises to fully accept all church teaching and doctrine, and

  • Formally repudiate their parent(s) marriage, civil union, or cohabiting arrangment.

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symbol of disapprovalSome negative remarks in the media about the LDS new policy towards children:

  • Human rights advocate and former Mormon, John Dehlin, who was mentioned above, also said:

    "What's even more disturbing about this new policy change is that the children of LDS murderers and rapists can still get baptized, but children of legally same-sex married couples cannot. This is troubling even by Mormon standards." 1

He told the Salt Lake Tribune:

"It's just totally surprising. This is a level of retrenchment that I don't think anybody could have envisioned."

  • Equality Utah is the largest non-profit group in Utah that advocates for equality for the LGBT community. Their vision is: "A fair and just Utah." Their mission is: "To secure equal rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Utahns and their families." 2

On 2015-NOV-06, Troy Williams, their executive director, posted a message on their Facebook page:

"In America all churches have the religious liberty to welcome or exclude whomever they desire. But we know that children of same-sex parents are treasures of infinite worth. In our universe, all God’s children have a place in the choir." 3

His posting received 2,214 likes and 358 shares within two days!

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  • NBC News reported that Equality Utah issued a statement saying that the new LDS policies are:

    "... directly aimed [at destroying same-sex couples.] ... "We support all families and believe that these divisive policies do not represent the Utah values of inclusion and respect." 1

  • Randall Thacker is the president of a LGBT-positive group in Washington DC called: "Affirmation – LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends." He is gay and hopes to marry and raise a family in the future. He had noted an upswing in acceptance of LGBT members by local Mormon leaders. He said:

    "That [acceptance] gave a lot of people a lot of hope that things would change at a grassroots level. Now ... [the Church leadership has] ... drawn a line in the sand very clearly. As Mormons, we are pro-family and I find it hard to see how this lives up to that value. It just raises a big question for me as to would I want to continue to engage with an organization that outright denies certain essential ordinances, such as baptism to my children." 4

  • Matthew Bowman, a Mormon historian and author of "The Mormon People," 5 said:

    "Ever since Proposition 8, there have been attempts by the church to reach out, to formulate relationships with LGBT Americans. This policy seems to be a step away from that." 4

    Proposition 8 was a referendum narrowly passed by the voters in California during 2008-NOV. It banned gay marriage in the state. It was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in mid-2013.

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Alex Johnson & Tracy Connor, "Mormon Church Bars Children of Same-Sex Couples From Baptism, Blessings,"NBC News, 2015-NOV-06, at: http://www.nbcnews.com/
  2. Equality Utah's home page is: http://www.equalityutah.org/
  3. Equality Utah's Facebook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/EqualityUtah/
  4. Sarah Pulliam Bailey, "Mormon Church to exclude children of same-sex couples from getting blessed and baptized until they are 18," Washington Post, 2015-NOV-06, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/

  5. book cover Matthew Bowman, "The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith, "Random House, (2012). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store

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 Home > Christianity > Christian faith groups > LDS Restorationist >Homosexuality > here

Home > Christianity > Denominational families > LDS Restorationist> Homosexuality > here

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Copyright © 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Original posting: 2015-NOV-08
Latest update: 2015-NOV-09
Author: B.A. Robinson
.

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