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Branch of Mormonism ready to endorse same-sex marriage

Published May 9, 2013 9:27 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Now at least one branch of Mormonism is poised to embrace same-sex marriage.

At their national meeting last month, delegates in the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the second largest group that traces its origins to Mormon founder Joseph Smith) voted overwhelmingly to approve the ordination of gay people and marriages or covenant commitment services of gay couples.

The move had three elements:

• That the "sacrament of marriage be extended, where legal in the USA, to persons of the same sex/gender."

• That a "church-recognized way for two persons of the same sex/gender to publicly express their covenant to each other be made available in places in the USA where marriage is not legal."

• That a priesthood call could "be processed according to established procedures regardless of sexual orientation, including a person in a monogamous, committed, same-sex/gender relationship (e.g., legal marriage, civil partnership, covenant relationship) in the USA."

All of these proposals would require changes in the church's policies, which still have to be approved by the First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles. That could take up to a year, according to a statement on the church's website.

The Community of Christ voted to ordain women to its priesthood in 1984 and currently has a female in its First Presidency.

Peggy Fletcher Stack