1500 Mormons have quit church over new anti-gay rules

Gay activists gather at Mormon temple for a "kiss in"

More than a thousand Mormons have already resigned from the Church over its new anti-gay rules.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, revealed harsh new policies in its updated guidebooks this month.

The new rules state that gay people who marry are ‘apostates’ – meaning they are viewed as having abandoned the Church.

The Church also affirmed that all children living with same-sex parents or guardians will be barred from being baptised or becoming Church members for the entirety of their childhood, and until they “disavow” their parents’ relationship.

Following fury from members, the leadership has made a minor “tweak” to clarify that kids who are already part of the Church won’t be kicked out – but it did little to quell the fury from existing Church members.

Protesters this weekend staged a mass resignation from the Mormon Church at its HQ in Salt Lake City, while others filed their own paperwork to leave the Church privately.

Reuters reports that in total, 1500 members of the Church have resigned over the issue so far. The number is a small fraction of the Church’s claimed 15 million global worshippers – but the impact will be felt strongly in Salt Lake City.

Brooke Swallow, who helped organise the protest, said: “It is difficult for people to leave the Church. It takes people a long time to make this decision. It is a well-thought-out one and it is not taken lightly.

“The people in the Mormon Church are finding that this is not a Christ-centred policy.
1500 Mormons have quit church over new anti-gay rules
“This is a policy that is about the people at the top, and their views and prejudices, and they are not thinking through what this will do long-term to families.”

Former Mormon Teresa Schofield told Fox: “We’re supposed to love our children like God loves us.

“To ask someone to turn their back on their own child or for a child to turn their back on a parent, that’s unnecessary.”