The Latest: LGBTQ parents’ group applauds Mormon change
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Latest on Mormons repealing rules banning baptisms for children of gay parents (all times local):
A group that represents members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with gay and lesbian children says the repeal of 2015 baptism rules is a good first step. But she says pain caused by the policy banning the baptism for kids of gay parents still lingers.
Lisa Dame with the Mama Dragons organization said Thursday the original 2015 rule banning the baptisms sent waves of heartache through LGBTQ members of the church and their families.
She says the reversal is an answer to prayers but that full healing will take time and noted that the church did not issue a formal apology for the 2015 policy.
The church’s doctrinal opposition to same-sex marriage and sexual relations has not changed.
Dame is a heterosexual Mormon. She has five children, including a 33-year-old daughter who is a lesbian.
A religious scholar says the decision by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to repeal rules banning baptisms for children of gay parents and making gay marriage a sin eligible for expulsion marks a complete reset for the faith on LGBTQ issues.
Patrick Mason of Claremont Graduate University in California says the policy unveiled in 2015 was deeply unpopular among members of the faith, triggering displeasure and protests from many liberal and conservative members.
He says the policy hurt the church’s image and relationship with many members.
Mason says the repeal erases the one major detour from a decade-long path by the faith to carve out a more open and compassionate position on LGBTQ issues while sticking to doctrinal opposition of gay marriage and intimacy between people in same-sex relationships.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is repealing rules unveiled in 2015 that banned baptisms for children of gay parents and made gay marriage a sin worthy of expulsion.
The surprise announcement Thursday by the faith widely known as the Mormon church reverses rules that triggered widespread condemnations from LGBTQ members and their allies.
The church in a statement says it isn’t changing its doctrinal opposition to gay marriage and still considers same-sex relationships to be a “serious transgression.”
But people in same-sex relationships will no longer be considered “apostates” who must be kicked out of the religion.
The change also marks the biggest move yet by church President Russell M. Nelson, who has made a flurry of changes since taking over the faith in January 2018.