The Mormon church will no longer baptize the children of gay parents.
In its updated handbook, the Church of Latter Day Saints also listed Mormons in a gay marriage as apostates – people who has given up their religion – for whom a disciplinary council is mandatory.
‘A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing,’ the book states.
These children can only be baptized once they reach the age of 18 and have disavowed gay marriage and stop living with their parents, although this would still require approval of the First Presidency, the church’s top governing body.
Church spokesperson Eric Hawkins on Thursday (5 November) confirmed the policy change, which takes effect immediately.
‘Church handbooks are policy and procedural guides for lay leaders who must administer the church in many varied circumstances throughout the world,’ he said in a statement.
‘The church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages. While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.’