Mormons will not baptize the children of same-sex couples — who are considered apostates by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The church released a major policy announcement Thursday that addresses the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that effectively legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
“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 LDS Church ruled.
The adopted or biological children of same-sex couples may be baptized after they turn 18 years old under the policy — which disavows same-sex cohabitation and marriage.
The adult children of same-sex couples must obtain permission to be baptized, confirmed or perform missionary from the church’s highest leaders — but only after disavowing same-sex relationship and leaving their parents’ home.
The new policy, which also prohibits church leaders from participating in same-sex weddings, is effective immediately.
An activist who worked alongside LDS Church leaders to pass Utah’s nondiscrimination law said all churches have the right to “welcome or exclude” whomever they choose — but he said the policy appears to punish children for their parents’ same-sex attraction.
“We know that children of same-sex parents are treasures of infinite worth,” Troy Williams, executive director of Equality Utah. “In our universe, all God’s children have a place in the choir.”