A Saturday rally in Salt Lake City featured Mormons who don’t attend church hectoring the Mormon Church about its new policy, issued on November 5, that bans baptisms for children of gay parents until the kids turn 18 and repudiate same-sex relationships.
According to the Washington Post, the “large majority” of the several hundred people at the rally have stopped attending church services, but that didn’t prevent them from pontificating to the church that its attitude toward the gay community is unacceptable.
The attendees filled out paperwork announcing their resignation from the church, then dropped them into a file box to be mailed to the LDS Church headquarters, according to The Salt-Lake Tribune. KUTV reported, “A recent poll conducted by event organizers and posted on the LDS Mass Resignation Facebook page shows only 5 percent of those who resigned this weekend attend an LDS church on a weekly or monthly basis.”
Mormon officials explained that the new rules would ease the schism children would feel if they lived with a same-sex couple and were caught between what they learned at home and what they would learn at church. They added that the children would not receive the full spectrum of ordinances, but could still attend services.
Lauren Elise McNamara, one of the rally organizers, crooned:
If you are hurting today, you are not alone. If you are angry today, you are not alone. We are here for you and your families. Today we expand from members of a church that excludes to members of a world community that embraces. A world that is choosing love.
Protesters, including gay and lesbian couples, carried signs reading, “Standing on the side of love,” and, “These polices harm all of us.”
Interestingly, one counter-protester, Brandon Robertson, 20, who is gay, held a sign with Bible verses and a picture of Jesus Christ. He said of the new rules, “It’s coming out of place of love for these children. It’s giving them a grace period to make a decision on their own.”
The church pointed out in a news release on Friday that its leaders wanted “to draw a firm line and encourage consistency among local leaders.”