Family Search, owned by the LDS Church, adds same-sex couples to its database
(Courtesy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) FamilySearch is the genealogical arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
A year and a half ago, FamilySearch.org
projected it would include same-sex parents and same-sex couples in its genealogy website sometime in 2019
— and it has, with three weeks to spare.
The site, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, announced Tuesday that FamilySearch Family Tree now provides the ability for users to document same-sex family relationships.
The move does not, however, signal any change in the church’s steadfast doctrinal stance against same-sex marriage.
The addition of gay relationships is part of FamilySearch’s “efforts to accurately document the human family,” according to a news release, but the Utah-based church still “solemnizes or seals marriages
[it its temples] only between people of the opposite sex.”
Children of same-sex couples will not be sealed to their parents “even if the couples have been legally married,” according to the release. “A deceased individual who has lived in a same-sex couple relationship or who has been a party to a same-sex marriage may receive all other available religious rites in a temple for which he or she is eligible.”
Same-sex marriage was legalized throughout the United States in June 2015
; it is now legal in dozens of countries.
What has changed on FamilySearch is that when adding a spouse or a parent to Family Tree, users will be able to enter one of the same sex. And “several” of the site’s systems had to be “significantly redesigned” to allow same-sex relationships to be documented, according to the release.
The church also reemphasized its policies for uploading family pictures
. Photos should be modest, relevant, “heart-turning” and noncommercial. FamilySearch policies prohibit images of “individuals kissing one another on the lips or about to kiss one another on the lips, regardless of gender, age, or relationship.”