The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is changing its position on same-sex marriage and the children of gay couples.
The children of church members who identify as LGBTQ will again be allowed to be baptized at the traditional age of eight years old. In 2015, the Mormon Church stipulated the children of LGBTQ couples could not be baptized at eight – instead, they would have to wait until they were 18 to undergo the rite.
The 2015 policy changes also declared same-sex, married couples to be living in a state of apostasy. The update from the church, which is effective immediately, says same-sex couples will no longer be considered defectors from the faith. The release says the marriages will be treated as serious transgressions, but not grounds for excommunication.
“Basically the church is saying we got it wrong,” says Erika Munson, the cofounder of Mormons Building Bridges.
The organization, which started in 2012, seeks to make LDS homes, congregations and communities safe and welcoming for LGBTQ people.
“Never has the church done such a quick about-face,” Munson says. “I’m very excited about the public experience that this is going to give to Mormons, to see how imperfect humans try to live and run a church on the Earth.”
Idaho is home to five LDS temples with a sixth under construction in Pocatello. After Utah, the Gem State has the second-highest percentage of Mormons with 23% of the state’s population claiming to be members of the faith.
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