Sexual Abuse Scandal

The Mormon Church has created a new policy that prevents the baptism of children from same-sex couples until the children reach adulthood. The move has prompted about 1,500 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to submit letters of resignation to the church in protest.

Approximately 1,000 people convened to protest the policy at the Church's Salt Lake City, Utah, headquarters on Saturday. The protestors say that the policy is harmful to families and discriminatory in nature. Many of them waited in long lines with their resignation letters in hand. Another protest, entitled "The Utah Rally for Love, Equality, Family and Acceptance" is scheduled for next Saturday at the same place.

Policy Approved Earlier This Month

Church leaders formally approved the new policy earlier this month. The measure puts same-sex marriage on the list of actions deemed to be an automatic renunciation of faith, and punishable by church discipline, such as excommunication.

One of the organizers of the protest on Saturday said that Mormons do not take leaving their faith lightly and it takes a long time for anyone to make such a decision. She said that the church's decision is not based on the teachings of Christ, but is based on the prejudices of the church leadership. She said that the leadership did not consider what their decision will do to families in the long run.

Church Says It Does Not Want Anyone to Leave the Organization

A church spokesperson, Eric Hawkins, said, "We don’t want to see anyone leave the Church, especially people who have been struggling with any aspect of their life." Hawkins said that it is important for churchgoers to read what the church leadership has said and not rely on different interpretations.

In order for children of same-sex married couples to be baptized in the Mormon faith, the policy says that they must be at least 18 years of age, move out of their parents' residence and disavow the practice of same-sex cohabitation and gay marriage. The policy only applies to children who maintain a primary residence with their gay parents.