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Top leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have reversed a policy that prevented minor children of same-sex married couples from joining the church and participating in its sacred rituals since 2015.
Many conservative churches oppose same-sex relationships and have done so with increased intensity since the second half of the 20th century. In the case of Latter-day Saints, the reasons for opposing same-sex marriage are based in their theology of a “real family,” as willed by God.
Scholar - Gender - Sexuality - Mormonism - Decision
However, as a scholar of gender and sexuality in Mormonism, I argue that the 2015 decision to bar children of same-sex parents from the church was tied to the conservative fight against same-sex marriage that was finding an increasing acceptance at the time in courts and elsewhere.
Mormon theology is based on a divine heterosexual archetype that sets the pattern for all intimate human relationships.
Saints - Ideal - Heaven - Paradise - Families
Latter-day Saints hold an ideal that heaven is a domestic paradise where families will live together in eternal harmony. In Latter-day Saints’ view of God, there is a divine Father in Heaven, but also a Mother in Heaven, who are believed to be the heterosexual parents of human spirits.
When the policy was adopted in 2015, the church deemed same-sex married Latter-day Saints as “apostate” and excommunicated them. This involved removing their names from the records of the church and nullifying any previous rituals.
Order - Children - Sanction - Church - Effort
In order to explain why the children were also deserving of official sanction, the church said it was an effort to “protect” them.
One senior church leader claimed that it was an act of “love” and “kindness” to prevent the children of same-sex families from participating and joining the church. One church leader, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, said, “We don’t want the child to have to deal with issues that might arise where the parents feel one...
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