The Mormon Church has just issued a major announcement, decreeing children of parents in same-sex marriages cannot be blessed or baptized.
In a stunning announcement Thursday evening, the Mormon Church has decreed that children of same-sex couples may not be baptized or blessed.
"A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-genderÂ relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may notÂ receive a name and a blessing," the addition to the Mormon Handbook reads in a new section titled, "Children of a Parent Living inÂ a Same-Gender Relationship."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also announced that children may not be baptized until they have reached "legal age" and do not "live with a parent who hasÂ lived or currently lives in aÂ same-gender cohabitation relationshipÂ or marriage."
Before being allowed to be baptized or to go on missionary service, that adult child must first receive permission from theÂ Office of the First Presidency. That adult child must alsoÂ accept and be "committed to live the teachings andÂ doctrine of the Church," and disavow "the practice ofÂ same-gender cohabitation and marriage."
For members of the Mormon Church who enter into a same-sex relationship or marriage, there are equally harsh new rules.
"Under the new church policy, people in 'same-gender' marriage have been added to the list of those acts of circumstances that are considered apostasy and would be subject to disciplinary action," the Salt Lake Tribune reports. "Historically, the church has excommunicated some members who have acted on their same-sex attractions."
This is the first time the sentence of apostasy has been imposed on Mormons who are in same-sex relationships.
In a statement the Mormon Church noted these new rules are effective immediately and "have been approved by theÂ Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles," the highest leadership of the LDS Church.