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Las Vegas LDS Members React To Ban On Membership Among Same-Sex Couples

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Douglas Pizac/AP

An update in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints handbook regarding same-sex couples and their children has sparked outrage.

Late last week, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Mormons in same-sex marriages and their children are no longer welcome in the church.

It was an unexpected decision that was contained in a new handbook that was dispersed to lay leaders Thursday, Nov. 5. 

The policy states that Mormons in same-sex marriages are apostates and subject to excommunication. Any children of same-sex couples are no longer able to join the Church until they come of age, and must also disavow same-sex relationships.  

Pilar Fish of Las Vegas is an active member of the LDS church. She told KNPR's State of Nevada that she is "heartbroken" by the policy. 

“I think in our church you’re told that you have free agency and I felt that was taken away from us,” Fish said.

Fish's 23-year-old son is gay and she believes the policy directly impacts her son.

“For us, we are shocked because the church was going forward and actually many wonderful people have been great to my son and the leaders were going forward and this is one step backwards,” she said.

She believes it is not fair to him or to any of his future children.

"Why can’t my future grandchildren decide what they want to be?" she said. 

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Fish's son decided to stop attending church a couple of years ago because he felt there was no place for him there. Now, Fish has decided to take time away from the church because of the policy.

“Right now, I’m not happy with this so I need a break,” she said.

She is not sure if she'll return to the church, and she thinks many people who are upset about the policy will decide to break with the faith. 

"This has been very difficult for me and my husband because we have loved the church. Every part of me I believe in the gospel, but I believe also churches are made by people and they make their own rules and they're not always correct," Fish said.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles says the new policies are designed to protect children from conflict, not to limit them from opportunities in the church.

Click Here to read the LDS Church's explanation of the handbook changes on same-sex marriage.

Guests

Pilar Fish, LDS member, Las Vegas 

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