The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (nee Mormon church) announced that it would allow children of same-sex couples to be baptized.
This is a reversal of church policy from one of the more prominent anti-LGBTQIA religious groups. A 2015 church rule stipulated that church members in same-sex marriages were apostates and subject to excommunication, and that children of same-sex couples were banned from rituals like baptisms and baby-naming ceremonies.
But the decision, which was delivered by President Dallin H. Oaks, did not end the church’s teaching that acting on same-sex attraction is sinful.
“While we cannot change the Lord’s doctrine, we want our members and our policies to be considerate of those struggling with the challenges of mortality,” the First Presidency, the church’s highest governing body, said in a statement. “We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today.
It is worth noting that the church still considers same-sex marriage “to be a serious transgression,” the statement added, but “it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline.”
It added that instead, “the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
The 2015 policy allowed children of same-sex couples to join the church only after they reached the age of 18 and moved out of their parents’ homes, technically abandoning their families. They also had to disavow same-sex relationships and receive approval from the church’s leadership.