4 April 2019 | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it will reverse a number of anti-LGBT policies that it instituted four years ago. According to the BBC, the denomination will lift its ban on the baptism of children of gay parents. Children of gay parents will now be allowed to be baptized if they have the approval of their parents.
Also, gay marriage will now be treated as “a serious transgression” but not as “an act of apostasy” (as formerly dictated by policy) which leads to expulsion from the church.
About 1500 people are said to have left the denomination when the original anti-LGBT policies were introduced in 2015.
LDS leader Dallin Oaks announced the new “positive policies” today at a conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The denomination said that “immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
Mr. Oaks explained the policy reversal as an attempt to “reduce the hate and contention so common today,” but denied any change in LDS doctrine on marriage or sexual morality.
The BBC reported that the changes are the most substantial made so far by church president Russell Nelson, who has been in office since last year.
In a statement voted during the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee in 1999 and revised by the General Conference Executive Committee in 2012, the Adventist Church specified that “sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman” and said that Adventists are “opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.”
The Adventist statement added that “Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices. As His disciples, Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the Lord’s instruction and example, living a life of Christ-like compassion and faithfulness.”