The reversal of this policy, which was enacted in 2015, means that children of members of the LGBTQ community are now able to be baptized as infants.
Same-sex marriage couples will no longer be classified as "apostates" by The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Apostates are people who have been excommunicated for "turning their back on the church."
The label came with the policy of not allowing children of couples in same-sex marriages to be baptized until age 18, and also required an adult child to move out of their parents' household and disavow same-sex cohabitation and marriage.
The reversal of the policy, which was enacted in 2015, means that children of members of the LGBTQ community are now able to be baptized as minors. When the policy was first announced, many members of the church did not agree, saying it punished the children more than the parents.
At least 1,000 members resigned their membership in Salt Lake City as a result of the policy.
According to President Dallin Oaks, the objective of the church is "to reduce the hate and contention so common today" as well as helping "affected families." Oaks expressed that the initial policy did not align with the intentions.
Some critics say the response of the organization is "too little too late."
Russell M Nelson in 2016: The Mormon policy on both gay people and their children is the "will of the Lord."— LDS Discussions (@LDSdiscussions) April 4, 2019
Nelson today: The Lord changed his mind.
While this is a good change for LGBTs who were crushed by this policy, it makes it crystal clear this church is not from God. pic.twitter.com/4yVODsqxTJ
Members of the Mormon Church who are in a same-sex marriage are still considered to be performing "a serious transgression." The move aims to soften attitudes towards LGBTQ people, and "show more understanding, compassion and love." The church has stated that it will treat "immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships... in the same way."
This statement has been refuted on both sides. Conservative members of the LDS church argues that the church does not recognize same-sex marriage as "eternal marriage." While on Twitter, one person commented that if "homosexual sex within marriage is wrong and heterosexual sex within marriage is great, we're not treating 'immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships...in the same way.'"
Sam Brinton of the suicide-prevention organization for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project, expresses hope that this change will lower the number of "people in crisis every day who struggle to reconcile being part of both the LGBTQ and faith communities." Brinton adds that "decisions to end policies of exclusion can help LGBTQ youth feel seen, loved, and less alone."
The amendment will be implemented immediately and is being sent to LDS sectors worldwide, as well as noted in the handbook.