Mormons Are Mass Resigning over LGBT Beliefs

Mormons Are Mass Resigning over LGBT Beliefs August 18, 2016

Homosexuality is frowned upon in Mormonism. Increasingly so. In 2015, the LDS church produced some pretty staggering anti-gay policy:

It added same-sex marriage to acts considered to be a renunciation of the Mormon faith and thus subject to church discipline, including excommunication….

The new church policy follows a landmark US supreme court ruling in June that legalized same-sex marriage. The policy bars children of gay married couples from being baptized in the faith until they turn 18, leave their parents’ home and disavow same-sex marriage or cohabitation.

Church leaders elaborated on the policy on Friday, saying the withholding of baptism would apply only to children whose primary residence was with a same-sex couple.

For children who have already been baptized, the provisions do not curtail their membership activities, the leaders said.

The church this year said it would support laws protecting against discrimination in housing and employment. But Mormon leaders have said sex should happen only between a married couple, and that they cannot sanction same-sex marriage. [Source]

As a result of this, from the moment it was passed to now, there has been a steady stream of resignations from the church in protest. As the Guardian reports:

Protests erupted, and within several weeks, Utah attorney Mark Naugle had helped more than 2,600 people file resignation papers.

Naugle – who left the church 15 years ago and now runs a website – said that as of Monday, he had processed nearly 12,000 resignations since the mass departures began in November. Boosted by formal quitting ceremonies, like the one in downtown Salt Lake City on Saturday, Naugle said he now completes roughly 100 to 250 resignations a week.

“America is becoming less religious, and so is the state of Utah,” said Naugle, 31.

Despite intense backlash to the new policy – including concerns about a potentialincrease in depression and suicide among LGBT Mormons – leaders of the church, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, have not shifted their views. As long as they continue to alienate the queer community, including transgender people, LGBT members and their allies will continue leaving in droves, critics said.

The mass resignations include some Mormons who have become inactive in the church for years, but want to formally dissociate, in part to ensure that the LDS church no longer includes them in statistics and stops encouraging them to return.

The church claims that it has more than 15.6 million members worldwide.

“I wanted to be off the rolls,” said Ivonna Earnest, 45, who resigned on Saturday. “I don’t want to be a selling point anymore.”

Let’s hope that these resignations and stats continue to send a message to those in power in the church.

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