The Mormon Church will now allow children of same-sex couples to be baptised.
In a remarkable move by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, children from same-sex couples will be able to be baptised despite years of following an anti-LGBTQ stance.
Back in 2015, the church implemented a rule that ripped congregations apart after stating people in same-sex marriages were subject to excommunication and their children were banned from baptisms and baby-naming ceremonies.
But now, in a revolutionary move to bring the church closer to the American mainstream, President Dallin H Oaks – the church’s highest governing body – said they want to reduce ‘hate and contention’.
In a statement he said: “While we cannot change the Lord’s decision, we want our members and our policies to be considerate of those struggling with the challenges of mortality.
“We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today.”
Although same-sex marriages will still be considered ‘a serious transgression’, the statement says they ‘will not be treated as an apostasy for purposes of Church discipline.
“Instead,” it added, ‘the immoral conduct in heterosexual or homosexual relationships will be treated in the same way.”
The move has been welcomed by the Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people, who said in a statement: "The Trevor Project welcomes any faith group's public commitment to treat the LGBTQ community fairly and equally, and this statement by the LDS Church to change course is a move in the right direction that will make a real difference in the lives of LGBTQ Mormons.
“We hear from LGBTQ young people in crisis every day who struggle to reconcile being part of both the LGBTQ and faith communities, and decisions to end policies of exclusion can help LGBTQ youth feel seen, loved, and less alone."