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The rules, issued to local leaders around the world, prompted a flurry of discussion on Mormon websites, with the idea of targeting kids ruffling even conservative Latter-day Saints who rarely question church decisions.
After the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decision last summer to make gay marriage legal nationwide, church leaders wanted “to draw a firm line and encourage consistency among local leaders,” the Friday news release said.
In addition to providing a forum for people to renounce their membership, event organizers wanted to show people there is life after Mormonism, even in a place like Utah where more than half of the state is estimated to be practicing Latter-day Saints.
Micah McAllister runs a website with resources for ex-Mormons. He and his wife Sandy Newcomb, also an ex-Mormon, came to show their support. Like many attendees, they come from families where nearly everyone is still devout Mormons.
“There is community and other things out there that is better than what the LDS church is offering them,” McAllister said.
They said it’s not fair that children of gay parents are being singled out when the church commonly baptizes kids who have parents who aren’t following church doctrine and rules.
“They’re treating the gay community like they are criminals, and they are not,” Newcomb said.
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