By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Children of LGBT parents can now be blessed or baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, church officials declared in a new policy on Thursday, dramatically reversing a 2015 decision to exclude those children from the rituals until they were 18. The church will also update its handbook for leaders, removing the label of “apostasy” for same-sex marriage.
“While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline,” three Mormon leaders said in a joint statement on Thursday. “Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
The new policy was announced during the leadership session of the church’s 189th Annual General Conference.
The initial decision to exclude LGBT families from the core rituals, announced in June 2015, was met with fierce criticism across the Mormon Church.
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