New LDS Church policy on same-sex couples, their children elicits strong reactions

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SALT LAKE CITY - Should children be denied membership in a church because their parents are gay? That question is at the center of a debate over a new policy from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding same-sex couples and their children.

The issue has lit up social media with powerful emotions on all fronts, with many expressing feelings of anger, confusion and disappointment. Some say it clears up where gay people stand in the eyes of the church. Others say it goes too far and hurts children.

Jen Blair is a member of Mama Dragons, a support group for women who are or were members of the LDS Church and have an LGBTQ child. She said she is heartbroken over the new policy, which is found in a handbook for bishops and stake presidents.

It states that children of same-sex couples cannot become members of the LDS Church unless they’re of legal age, are no longer living with their parents, and have disavowed the practice of same-sex couples.

“This is a painful one," Blair said. "There are a lot of us that feel like a line has been drawn in the sand."

Related story: LDS Church responds after policy change on same-sex couples, their children prompts strong reactions

The LDS Church says they’ve been on record as opposing same-sex marriages, and the policy ensures children won’t be put in a difficult position. The LDS Church also has a similar policy with children who are living with polygamous parents. But Blair, a mother of a gay son, says the policy is unfair because it applies even if a child isn’t living with same gender parents.

“To try to explain that to an 8-year-old who goes to Primary every week and watches each of their friends get baptized is incredibly difficult to explain to an 8-year-old why they're not included in that,” Blair said.

Christian Harrison, a gay man and member of the LDS Church, echoes Blair’s feelings.

“It's offensive, it's dangerous, it's heartbreaking," he said.

Harrison said his friends feel hopeless and are torn because even though they aren’t members, their children won’t be afforded the opportunity. He says many are preparing to leave the church.

“I know people who have drafted their letter," he said. "They're handing it in, and the church is poorer for that.”

The thing Jen struggles with the most is that she said the policy suggests that there’s something fundamentally wrong with children who grow up in a same-parent household.

“It`s very difficult to know that my own grandbabies, if he were to be an ax murderer or a rapist or a convicted child molester, my grandbabies would be welcome to join the church and be baptized,” Blair said.

This is an issue many people are weighing in on, and a protest is planned at Temple Square this Sunday at noon.

Jackie Biskupski also released a statement in response, click here for the full text.


  • Bobby

    I love how people like to criticize the church. It’s like a vegetarian going to a BBQ hut and complaining about the meat. No one is forced to become a Mormon. It is a choice to live by God’s rules. People get upset because they don’t get what they want. Lucifer had the same problem. We are luckier we still have time to repent and turn from our ways. Jesus forgave all but also told them to go and sin no more. Those with issues on this matter know the gospel is true but prefer their way over God’s plans for us

  • Shawn Klein

    *Elicit. I try, really I do, to not post grammar police responses, but a supposed PROFESSIONAL writer wrote that headline.

  • bob

    But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Unless their parents are g a y.

  • Ruby J

    If you are LGBT, why would you send your children to a church that has never changed it’s policies on same gender marriage and where they are taught that it is wrong, and then have them come home so you can teach them that the church you are sending them to attend is wrong and you are right? How confusing for children. Why would parents do that to children they love?

  • Steve

    As everyone must recognize, the purpose of postponing the benefits of church membership for children is so that they will not have to chose between the church and their parents. They should follow their parents until they are living by their own values.

  • Nathan tucker

    0:20-0:30 – Powerful emotions on all fronts, feelings of anger confusion and disappointment.” Is that statement really representing all sides? To me that statement only references one side not all sides.
    1:30 – 142 “To try to explain that to an 8 year old who; goes to primary every week and watches, you know watch each of their friends get Baptized, is incredibly difficult to try to explain to an 8 year old, why are they not included in that.” Really It must be easier to tell an 8 year old how two of the same gender love each other even though it goes against science and the law of nature, oh and the church’s doctrine?
    1:42 – 1:47 – “It’s offensive, It’s dangerous and it’s heart breaking.” I can see why it could be offensive to few. Who cares, I am offended because someone attacks my religion multiple times on a daily basis. Dangerous how? How is this putting children in danger? I would love for someone to explain that one to me. Heart Breaking? I am sure, but only for those who truly believe in our doctrine. For some reason I just don’t see your true heart break.

    1:48 – 2:00 – “Friends feel hopeless and are torn because (“Even though they aren’t members”) their children won’t be afforded the opportunity (“Their preparing to leave the church”). Do I really need to spell this out for people. First off how can people that are NOT members leave the church? It is mind boggling how this is even being reported. Second off; their children ARE afforded the opportunity, when they turn 18 and can decide for themselves. This whole last statement by Christian Harrison and by the news castor Tamera Vaifanua is nothing but all lies that is a fact. Look at the hypocrisy and contradictions in the statement it’s self.

  • Dave Olson

    Is the LDS Church truly the Church of Jesus Christ? You decided. Mathew 19:14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

  • i am a latter day saint some people call us mormons

    No children of LGBTQ parents will be told they can not attend church. They will only not be given the option while that young to be able to say they resist the life stile of there parents, by promising to keep all the commandments and teachings through baptism. when baptized you promise to not affiliate with any organization which is not in harmony with the gospel. This prevents that conflict. This is not an attack if it were then the children would be encouraged to join then told there parents are bad people and that’s not true nor is it part of the gospel.

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