The Mormon church will no longer consider same-sex couples “apostates” and will allow their children to be baptized into the church without special approval from church leaders, the church said in a surprise announcement Thursday.
The announcement was made by Dallin Oaks, a member of the church’s First Presidency, at a conference in Salt Lake City.
“Previously, our Handbook characterized same-gender marriage by a member as apostasy,” the church said in a statement.
“While we still consider such a marriage to be a serious transgression, it will not be treated as apostasy for purposes of Church discipline. Instead, the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
The church, officially known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said it wants “to reduce the hate and contention so common today.” BBC News.