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Hundreds rally to protest Mormon Church’s new anti-gay rules

Hundreds rally to protest Mormon Church’s new anti-gay rules

Hundreds or some 1,000 people with roots in the Mormon faith gathered in City Creek Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday to renounce the church’s new policies targeting gay men and lesbians, and their children including a ban on baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18. Afterwhich, they must disavow gay marriage and stop living with their parents.

Earlier this month church leaders released its book of guidelines, known as Handbook1, which also states that Mormons in same-sex marriages or similar relationships must face disciplinary councils — and possible excommunication.

According to media reports, as many as 1,000 people pledged to resign en masse from the Mormon Church.

The Salt Lake City Tribune quoted attorney Mark Naugle as saying that he had helped many Mormons expedite their paperwork to resign their memberships in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Their forms were to be mailed to nearby LDS Church headquarters to have those members’ names removed from the register.

A vast majority who said they are resigning on Saturday or planned to mail in their letters said they are inactive members or have stopped attending church years ago but were spurred to come and formally cut ties from the church in light of the new policies, according to an informal poll of people who had joined the event’s Facebook page, the Tribune reported.

On Friday Mormon leaders released a clarification saying they are trying to protect ‘the harmony’ of homes by excluding families whose basic structure contradicts church teaching. It said the policy applies only to children whose ‘primary residence’ is with a couple living in a same-gender marriage and does not apply to children who have one gay parent and may not live with them full time.