The Church of Latter-Day Saints didn’t even bother to issue a press release this week when enacting a new membership ban for children of same-sex households and harshened punishment for LGBT members.
Instead, it quietly disseminated the news via a new leadership handbook.
More Mormons than ever are coming out as LGBT and allies. It seemed like LDS might even be loosening its historically intolerant stance since looking like utter schmucks in the aftermath of California’s Proposition 8 to ban gay marriage.
But that doesn’t mean the church plans to loosen its policies, as LDS spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a statement. “While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership.”
For most of us, this development adds a new feather to our “Reasons I’m Thankful Not to Be a Mormon” hat that we didn’t need. Let's face it, that hat already has many feathers.
But lifelong members of any church—particularly the ultra tight-knit, family-focused LDS church—stand to lose their family, faith community and a core part of their identity when rejected from their church.
Even worse, now children are placed directly in the middle of their parents’ painful struggle for inclusion in their faith community. Children of gay couples may join the church when they become adults under new rules, but only after disavowing their parents’ practices.
LDS.net fired back at the “myth” that this was intended to punish kids when they offered a really confusing scenario in which they claim the rule could help kids by constituting “custodial interference” in a custody battle, thus awarding the non-gay parent custody.
They are right about one thing: This isn’t about punishing kids; it’s more like a divorced parent using kids to punish an ex-spouse. And we all know that behavior doesn't cause any harm to the kids.