On Nov. 6, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a new policy preventing children of same-sex couples from being baptized and recognized by the church.
“A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing,” the policy said.
They only may do so when they are 18 and must completely disavow their parents and same-sex unions. I don’t agree with many LDS policies and beliefs, but this one is especially heartbreaking.
This national uproar hits close to home–literally. I grew up just outside of Salt Lake City in Sandy, Utah. We moved to Utah when I was eight, so I essentially was raised in school among Mormon families. I never once felt antagonized for my own (non-LDS) religion. Mormons have a reputation for being extremely nice people, which is why it saddens me that their religion in general (by no means all individual members) chooses to practice exclusivity, and to now take it to such extremes as this.
The Mormon Church is against homosexuality, and has always been open about their firm belief that marriage is strictly between a man and a woman. They say that same-sex attraction is not a sin itself, but acting on it is. They recognize members that are homosexual and allow them to be a part of the church. This is why I have a problem with their new policy. If they allow homosexuals to be a part of the church, why would they exclude their children? Their children, who could have a sexual orientation of any kind, who did not choose who their parents were, and who love their parents no matter the gender.
I know a handful of LDS members who have recently come out as homosexual, but still choose to be a part of the church because they have grown up with the church’s ideals and wish to stay a part of this community. They are deeply hurt by this new policy, as it means that raising their children in a Mormon family with them is not possible simply because of their sexual orientation.
Now, if I were homosexual myself, I probably would not want to be a part of a church that has spoken out against my orientation. Still, some value their faith above all, and to not allow their family to share in their faith is hurtful to them.