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LDS Church Rules On Baptism For Children In Same-Sex Homes

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

According to a new policy within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children living with same-sex parents will not be eligible for baptism and other church rituals. The policy was leaked on social media Thursday.

The Church’s guidelines stipulate that entering a same-sex legal union is regarded as an act of apostasy and that children living with that couple are not eligible for most sacraments. Jennifer Dobner, a reporter with the Salt Lake Tribune, appeared on KCPW’s Behind the Headlines to discuss the new policies.

“The second piece is getting a really dramatic reaction, and that is, it addresses the children of gay parents,” she said. “It bars them from naming blessings, it bars them from baptism, it bars them from a whole host of Church rites; including confirmation, ordination to the priesthood for boys, and it bars them from being recommended for missionary service.”

The Salt Lake City-based Church has remained firm in its belief that marriages in the Church must be heterosexual. Dobner noted that children in LGBT homes must abide by the same baptism rules as those in living in polygamous households, but that there are some exceptions.

“You can be approved for baptism in only two ways. One, if you except and commit to live the teachings of the Church and disavow the practice of same-gender marriage and same-gender cohabitation,” she said. “Or if you are of legal age—so, 18—and no longer live with a parent who is gay and has at any time been in a same-gender marriage or relationship of any kind.”

Eric Hawkins, a spokesman for the LDS Church, stated that while the Church respects the law of the land, it will continue to uphold its doctrine on the family.