The rules also make gay marriages a sin worthy of expulsion.
The changes marked a dramatic detour from the religion’s recent push to carve out a more compassionate stance on LGBT issues.
Church leaders say they were made to reiterate the faith’s opposition to gay marriage and provide clarity to lay leaders.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church, teaches that marriage is between a man and a woman.
Before the change, the church’s policy was that same-sex marriage might require discipline and it was usually left up to local leaders. Now that same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country, the church decided to identify those in a same-sex marriage as apostates, or people who renounce their faith.
Rumors began this week that the church’s 15-man leadership — three in a body called The First Presidency and 12 in a lower-level unit called the Quorum of the Apostles — might change the document following the uproar.
“Many Mormons are calling on their church leaders to modify this new policy on same-sex couples — particularly the limitations affecting the children — and soon,” the Tribune reported.