Around 150 Mormons have quit in a mass resignation ceremony over the church’s opposition to gay marriage and polygamy.

Saturday’s ceremony in Salt Lake City drew Mormons from Utah, Arizona and Idaho. Participants gathered to sign a ‘Declaration of Independence from Mormonism’.

Those who resigned cited equal marriage, ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ teachings and inconsistencies in doctrine on polygamy as reasons for leaving the faith. The mass ceremony is unusual, as Mormonism encourages a culture of obedience.

The church, which claims to have 14.4 million members around the world, is strongly politically opposed to equal marriage and has campaigned against the move in the US.

Last month, the church filed a response to the UK consultation on equal marriage, claiming that the change would have “negative implications for the nation, both legal and social”.

Although church leaders remain strongly opposed to gay rights measures, LGBT Mormons are becoming more vocal in their support for gay and trans rights in recent years.

Three hundred church members, gay and straight, joined Salt Lake City’s gay pride march in June, while a number of LGBT church members and their families have made ‘It Gets Better’ videos.