LDS Kids Punished for “Sins” of LGBTQ Parents
I grew up Mormon, and I’m dispirited by a new policy announced last week:
Mormon children of same-sex couples can no longer be blessed as babies, baptized, ordained to the priesthood, serve missions or join the LDS church until they turn 18. And only then if they leave their homes and disavow their parent’s same-sex relationship.
The Salt Lake Tribune writes about Nick Literski, a gay man from Seattle, who feels physically shaken by the news.
He left the Mormon church when he came out as gay in 2006. But his 17-year-old daughter, who lives with her mom, is preparing for a mission that she hopes to serve in a couple of years.
Nick supports his daughter’s desire to serve but says,
That may be impossible now (because) she now can’t serve a mission unless she ‘disavows’ her own father’s life — basically convinces a (churches authority) that she’s sufficiently disgusted by me.
I’m heartsick. It’s so incredibly unfair to put her in this position.
As I said, I grew up Mormon, but left because of inequalities that didn’t sit well with me.
The LDS faithful have, in the past, been encouraged to fight against gay rights and women’s rights. And for years, blacks were denied the ability to hold priesthood. (The LDS church has since reversed the ban on black-held priesthood.)
But this new code is especially confusing since members have never before been punished for other’s behavior — a move which runs counter to the spirit of the church’s 2nd “Article of Faith” which says:
We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.
Don’t, for one second, think you (the church leadership) would have been protecting me from anything — not being allowed to be baptized would have been a source of deep sorrow and shame for me. Not to mention what this would have done to my mother, who was and is a committed member of the church. This would have absolutely broken her heart. To add that burden on her after all that she carried…there are no words for that cruelty.
Religion News Service columnist, and Mormon, Jana Riess, wonders why children born out of wedlock, or children of rapists and murderers, may be baptized and blessed, but not kids with same-sex parents?
Growing up Mormon I listened as Sunday school teachers taught the Golden Rule and told me to be kind to others. “If you see a child who with no friends, go over and talk to her or him…”
What about that?
I’m with Mormon feminist, Maxine Hanks, who says,
My heart breaks…
I hope the strange, sudden policy change was due to gaps in communication and will be remedied. I can’t imagine it reflects a consensus among leaders — since it refutes other recent statements and progress in compassion, policy, intent, and thinking.
I hope the truth and pain of personal harm will be voiced and heard, and I hope our focus will be on solution and healing.