Written by Rebecca Oldham. Media by Andrea Martin. [divide]
In the past week, the Mormon Church has made announcements against the LGTB community. They have passed rules within their church against same-sex couples, and the children of same-sex couples. CNN reported that the Mormon Church considers same-sex couples apostate and have laid out all new rules against the LGTB community in their handbook 1.
According to CNN’s Ray Sanchez, “The church’s official position is that same-sex attraction is not a sin, but acting on it is.” So under the eyes of the Church, and under God, this means acting upon homosexual feelings, and getting married ultimately makes them become apostates. An apostate is defined as someone who has renounced his/her faith because of certain committed actions that go against their beliefs, or their community’s beliefs. This has allowed the Church to put into action the rules that have denounced same-sex couples thus considering them as non-members, and has allowed them to make rules against children of same-sex couples.
The children who are currently living with same-sex couples will now, under the rule of the Mormons’ Handbook 1, not be allowed to enter the church and become members. They will not be allowed to be baptized, and, even according to The Washington Post’s Sarah Bailey, “Children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies.” Thus, children of same-sex couples will not be allowed into the Mormon Church, baptized, or blessed, until they have turned 18, moved out of their parents’ house, and disavow the practice of same-sex marriage.
A Mormon Church spokesman, Eric Hawkins, described the document as a “policy and procedural guide. 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.” However, the question still remains of why the children are being affected by their parent’s actions. The Mormon Church has stated that the children are still considered children of God, but will not be allowed to be baptized or confirmed because of the actions of their parents that the Mormon Church defines as wrong in the eyes of the Lord.
Scott Fausett voiced his uncertainty regarding what will happen to his family since the new policy changes. Fausett is gay and has three children, one of which is in the LDS Priesthood. He also stated that “it is one thing if the LDS Church doesn’t want me being a gay person in their church — now to exclude children of a gay person just makes no sense to me.”
The Mormon Church seems to be set in its ways as they go forward with the changes in Handbook 1. It is the Church’s right to act upon their religious views and beliefs. However, excluding same-sex couples and their children from the Church could have a drastic effect on the families. This could affect the views and beliefs of same-sex couples instead of reaffirming them. Some see the act as a passive-aggressive way of enacting excommunication. But above all, many are seeing the children as the victims, who will no longer be considered to be in the church because of the actions of their parents.