About 1,500 Mormons are resigning to protest a new policy barring children of married same-sex couples from being baptized until they are adults.
They say the policy is discriminatory and harmful to families, Reuters reports, citing organizers of the mass protest.
A similar protest is set for next Saturday in the same area.
Leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approved the policy this month.
It added same-sex marriage to acts considered to be a renunciation of the Mormon faith and thus subject to church discipline, including excommunication.
“It is difficult for people to leave the Church. It takes people a long time to make this decision. It is a well-thought-out one and it is not taken lightly,” said Brooke Swallow, one of the organizers of the Saturday protest.
“The people in the Mormon Church are finding that this is not a Christ-centered policy,” Swallow said.
“This is a policy that is about the people at the top, and their views and prejudices, and they are not thinking through what this will do long-term to families.”
A spokesman said the Church “don’t want to see anyone leave the Church, especially people who have been struggling with any aspect of their life.”
The Church has more than 15 million adherents and 85,000 missionaries globally.
The new church policy bars children of gay married couples from being baptized in the faith until they turn 18, leave their parents’ home and disavow same-sex marriage or cohabitation.
On Friday, Church leaders said the withholding of baptism would apply only to children whose primary residence was with a same-sex couple.
The provisions do not curtail the membership activities of children who have already been baptized.
– Contact us at [email protected]