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New Mormon policy makes apostates of married same-sex couples, bars children from rites

First Published      Last Updated Nov 06 2015 05:51 pm

Apostasy » Change subjects Mormons in same-sex unions to likely excommunication; their children may be barred from blessings and baptisms.
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That may be impossible now, said Literski.

"She now can't serve a mission unless she 'disavows' her own father's life — basically convinces a stake president that she's sufficiently disgusted by me," he said, adding that he was physically shaken after reading the policy.

"I'm heartsick," Literski said. "It's so incredibly unfair to put her in this position."

Literski supports his daughter's desire to serve an 18-month church mission, for which she already has asked relatives to support through Christmas and birthday gifts that may help her in the field.

As news of the policy spread, Affirmation, a support group for gay Mormons, was flooded with messages from members expressing their "tremendous hurt, heartache, emotional distress and spiritual confusion," said Randall Thacker, the group's president.

Thacker said he found the church's new policy for children of gay parents particularly egregious.

"I cannot imagine Jesus Christ denying any child a baptism because of the status of their parents," he said. "It goes against everything I ever thought the savior and baptism was about."

In response to the policies, Affirmation is organizing outreach and support events — both in Utah and via the Web — for Sunday. The gatherings will include a call for fasting and prayer to advance understanding and compassion, Thacker said.

In a statement, LDS women from the advocacy group Mama Dragons said the "difficult" policy fills them with profound sadness. But the women said they would remain resolute in their support of their children and grandchildren and in their work to keep families from fracturing over the issue of sexuality.

"These statements do not feel like love to us," the Mama Dragons said. "It feels positively medieval, unequivocally wrong, and in our estimation stands to push more people out of the church and tear apart families."

The women, who run support groups for Mormon families, said they share the fears of many who believe anti-gay rhetoric from LDS leaders leaves some gay youths contemplating suicide and allows some parents to banish gay children from their homes — although Mormon authorities have denounced such shunning.

"We are collectively heartbroken today as our children get the message loud and clear that they are not wanted here," the group said. "That they are merely collateral damage in some holy moral-values war."


Twitter: @jenniferdobner