Protesters have staged a mass resignation from the Mormon Church at its HQ in Salt Lake City, after new rules branded gay people ‘apostates’.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church, revealed harsh new policies in its updated guidebooks this month.
The new rules state that gay people who marry are ‘apostates’ – meaning they are viewed as having abandoned the Church.
The Church also affirmed that all children living with same-sex parents or guardians will be barred from being baptised or becoming Church members for the entirety of their childhood, and until they “disavow” their parents’ relationship.
Following fury from members, the leadership has made a minor “tweak” to clarify that kids who are already part of the Church won’t be kicked out – but it did little to quell the fury from existing Church members.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Church’s HQ in Salt Lake City, Utah yesterday, to challenge the new rules.
Along with some from the wider LGBT community, many of those in attendance were members of the Church, submitting paperwork to resign en masse over the issue.
Former Mormon Teresa Schofield told Fox: “We’re supposed to love our children like God loves us.
“To ask someone to turn their back on their own child or for a child to turn their back on a parent, that’s unnecessary.”
Event organiser Lauren Elise McNamara said: “If you are hurting today, you are not alone.
“If you are angry today, you are not alone. We are here for you and your families.
“Today we expand from members of a church that excludes, to members of a world community that embraces. A world that is choosing love.”