The Mormon Church to Allow Baptisms for Children of Same-Sex Parents

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has today announced a change in policy pertaining to baptism and LGBTQ+ couples.

According to a 2015 policy, Mormons previously only allowed children of same-sex parents to be baptized with First Presidency approval — the First Presidency consists of the President of the church as well as his two counselors, and is the highest governing body of the Church. While there were a myriad of issues related to the policy, it particularly effected children of divorced parents were one was a queer ex-Mormon while the other remained in the faith. These children had to get approval to be baptised, and were many times prohibited from doing so. This controversial policy led to a widespread exodus of up to 1,500 members by some estimates.

The parents themselves were considered to be apostates, or ex-Mormons who have turned away from the principles of the Mormon gospel. When someone is “in apocacy” they can become the subject of a disciplinary court, convened by the church, and can be excommunicated spiritually as well as socially.

In a decision released today, both of those policies have been revised.

“Effective immediately, children of parents who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender may be baptized without First Presidency approval, if the custodial parents give permission for the baptism and understand both the doctrine that a baptized child will be taught and the covenants he or she will be expected to make,” the church wrote on their site. The decision was initially announced in a leadership session. At that meeting, President Dallin H. Oaks also shared the new policies surrounding queer members.