A group of Mormons are planning a “mass resignation” after leaders changed church policies regarding gay people. These rules appear in an internal church handbook. The changes, that were were not meant to be made public, say that children living with a gay parent cannot be baptised until they are 18 and only when they renounce homosexuality and also that members can be expelled from the church if they enter into a gay marriage. Both liberal and conservatives Mormon groups have criticised the the changes. Mormon scholar Patrick Mason told Reuters;
“The surprising impact has been the amount of people who are confused and troubled and disturbed and, frankly, repulsed… And these aren’t just progressives and LGBT advocates. … They are saying: ‘This doesn’t feel right. This doesn’t square with me.'”
It’s a departure for the Mormon church, which has softened its approach on gay issues recently and backed a Utah state law that provides legal protections for gay people. Church officials have not commented on the changes.
More than 1,000 people plan to attend the “mass resignation” rally today at a park across the from the church’s headquarters in Salt Lake City, but it’s not clear how many of those people have already left the church. Church member Sarah Epperson plans to resign at the rally on Saturday. She told the New York Times;
“Any church that wants to claim itself as a Christian organization that uses Jesus Christ the savoir to somehow exclude any group of people is not anything that I want to be a part of.”