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Rivers

Anniversary of the “The Policy”

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I am sorry to bring this old can of worms up again but I am curious about the kind of impact it as had over the few years it has existed.  I am of course speaking of the infamous policy concerning children in same-sex marriage households.  I had always felt that the impact would be minimal seeing that very few gay couples would have any interest in having their children baptized into the Church.  Anybody have any insights on how many children this has actually affected?

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34 minutes ago, Rivers said:

I had always felt that the impact would be minimal seeing that very few gay couples would have any interest in having their children baptized into the Church.  Anybody have any insights on how many children this has actually affected?

Zero, that I'm aware of.

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5 hours ago, Rivers said:

I am sorry to bring this old can of worms up again but I am curious about the kind of impact it as had over the few years it has existed.  I am of course speaking of the infamous policy concerning children in same-sex marriage households.  I had always felt that the impact would be minimal seeing that very few gay couples would have any interest in having their children baptized into the Church.  Anybody have any insights on how many children this has actually affected?

We didn’t have any gay couples attending our ward before the policy was enacted and have had none since.

in the couple of stakes where I’ve served in leadership I’m not aware of any impact either.

Edited by ksfisher
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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Anecdotes are of zero  value in making such an estimate.  The Brethren probably have no idea what impact it may have had on the children of gay couples.  Discussion in the press and online is another matter.

However, if a large number of board members spread across the world have heard of few cases of requests for exceptions or other related scenarios, it suggests that it is not a common scenario.

It does seem impossible to have concrete numbers given gay couples would likely be excommunicated or not baptized if investigating and therefore their families would not be tracked to determine how many children they have who potentially might have been members prior to the policy nor would missionaries or others contact them after their children reach age nine to see if there was any interest in being taught.  

The only way leaders might find out about cases imo outside of family members reporting a discussion (and a discussion about what you might allow your kid to do when you know there is no possibility of it happening is not the same as making an actual decision to allow them) would be if the child or parents contacted missionaries or someone else in leadership about a desire to be baptized because the family wasn't aware of the policy or they were asking for an exception to be made.

Since any exceptions have to be allowed by the First Presidency, they undoubtedly have solid numbers on those, but unlikely that will be shared anytime soon.  Nor would that necessarily reflect impact as there are likely less numbers now that want their kids baptized simply because of the policy and they will unlikely apply for exceptions unless their child is determined and persuasive.  Otoh, some few might want to make a statement of sorts and apply for exceptions where they wouldn't have been interested before.

 I assume requests would go through bishops as other exceptions I am aware of.  Can someone confirm that?

I think the best we might be able to come up with is finding out how many gay couples (married or unmarried) with primary custody were allowing their children to attend church and/or be baptized prior to the policy being established.  Adjust for likely demographic changes such as increasing numbers of gay couples having children or being granted primary custody.  I think this might be more accurate than asking gay couples with current or prior connections to the Church to imagine what they might do if the policy did not exist.  It doesn't seem likely numbers for just attending church back then were gathered, but baptisms likely would have, correct?  Unless the prior lack of ability to have a same sex couple as parents on the membership records prevented that?

Edited by Calm
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15 minutes ago, Calm said:

However, if a large number of board members spread across the world have heard of few cases of requests for exceptions or other related scenarios, it suggests that it is not a common scenario.

It does seem impossible to have concrete numbers given gay couples would likely be excommunicated and therefore their families would not be tracked to determine how many children they have who potentially might have been members prior to the policy nor would missionaries or others contact them after their children reach age nine to see if there was any interest in being taught.  

The only way leaders might find out about cases imo outside of family members reporting a discussion (and a discussion about what you might allow your kid to do when you know there is no possibility of it happening is not the same as making an actual decision to allow them) would be if the child or parents contacted missionaries or someone else in leadership about a desire to be baptized because the family wasn't aware of the policy or they were asking for an exception to be made.

Since any exceptions have to be allowed by the First Presidency, they undoubtedly have solid numbers on those, but unlikely that will be shared anytime soon.  Nor would that necessarily reflect impact as there are likely less numbers now that want their kids baptized simply because of the policy and they will unlikely apply for exceptions unless their child is determined and persuasive.  Otoh, some few might want to make a statement of sorts and apply for exceptions where they wouldn't have been interested before.

 I assume requests would go through bishops as other exceptions I am aware of.  Can someone confirm that?

I think the best we might be able to come up with is finding out how many gay couples (married or unmarried) with primary custody were allowing their children to attend church and/or be baptized prior to the policy being established.  Adjust for likely demographic changes such as increasing numbers of gay couples having children or being granted primary custody.  I think this might be more accurate than asking gay couples with current or prior connections to the Church to imagine what they might do if the policy did not exist.  It doesn't seem likely numbers for just attending church back then were gathered, but baptisms likely would have, correct?  Unless the prior lack of ability to have a same sex couple as parents on the membership records prevented that?

There  may already be talk about this within the LDS gay community, even if not on this board.   We may simply not be discussing it here.  We are bound to hear something anecdotal here at some future time.

ETA:  Oh, I see that there is some anecdotal discussion here.

Edited by Robert F. Smith

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We had a man in our ward resign his membership over it, he has a Doctorate in Medicine, which is an insane amount of schooling

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5 minutes ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

My gay son married his partner last year.  He resigned his membership years ago.  There are no adopted children yet, but if there ever are, as their grandfather, it would make me sad to know I could never baptize them.  In fact, I would probably not even attempt to take them to church because I wouldn’t want them to feel left out or “other” by the other children.  

Would you likely have encouraged any children they adopted to be baptized even though the parents weren't members, do you think?  (I know I just said that such speculation can't be an accurate report of actual impact, but I am still interested in how people feel and think).

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1 hour ago, Duncan said:

We had a man in our ward resign his membership over it, he has a Doctorate in Medicine, which is an insane amount of schooling

There is the direct impact on children in primary custody of their gay parents and then there is the fallout impact on those who resigned over the issue and their families or investigators not interested in joining a church with such a policy.  My guess is there are likely more children who are not in gay parent families who are not being baptized but once would have been due to parents' recent withdrawal from church or their own choice to refuse to be baptized. (This does not make the policy wrong imo, even if I wish the fallout loss wasn't there).

Edited by Calm
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24 minutes ago, Calm said:

Would you likely have encouraged any children they adopted to be baptized even though the parents weren't members, do you think?  (I know I just said that such speculation can't be an accurate report of actual impact, but I am still interested in how people feel and think).

Yeah, I am of the opinion it is a good idea not to baptize (or bless) kids who do not have any parent or adult they live with as a member. I get why grandparents want to have it done but can’t you just be an example yourself and help them once they are a teenager/adult and want to be involved?

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

Yeah, I am of the opinion it is a good idea not to baptize (or bless) kids who do not have any parent or adult they live with as a member. I get why grandparents want to have it done but can’t you just be an example yourself and help them once they are a teenager/adult and want to be involved?

Not only a member imo, but a relatively active member.  If less active in attending themselves, they should be proactive in their support of the child.  I think it is very important that a child has an adult they feel comfortable with to talk with about their beliefs and they have easy access to the adult as questions and struggles may arise at any time and significant delay in being able to ask may lead to it never being asked.  Such availability is best achieved with a parent.

But I have friends and relatives who see things differently, almost have the same viewpoint on living baptisms as proxy...just go ahead and do as many as we can and when the people are ready, having the covenants already in place will be helpful, they are that much further along.

I have concerns over being dismissive of one's covenants and covenant breaking, intentional and unintentional (if you don't believe a covenant is valid, I see breaking it as unintentional).

Edited by Calm

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3 hours ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

My gay son married his partner last year.  He resigned his membership years ago.  There are no adopted children yet, but if there ever are, as their grandfather, it would make me sad to know I could never baptize them.  In fact, I would probably not even attempt to take them to church because I wouldn’t want them to feel left out or “other” by the other children.  

Never say never. You can baptize them after they turn 18. 

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3 hours ago, Calm said:

Would you likely have encouraged any children they adopted to be baptized even though the parents weren't members, do you think?  (I know I just said that such speculation can't be an accurate report of actual impact, but I am still interested in how people feel and think).

Absolutely. 

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10 minutes ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

Absolutely. 

What do you see as the benefit of baptism if the children were not able to attend (serious question, not a challenge)?  I am thinking most grandparents don't live close enough to be taking grandkids to church each week or be around them on a weekly or monthly basis  to be a consistent example of living one's membership and thus the grandkids will likely have little to no church activity save for occasional visits with you and therefore little instruction past basic lessons prior to baptism at least until they grow up enough to arrange for rides themselves if they are interested, but perhaps you have a different scenario in mind.

Edited by Calm
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I have been in two wards here in Virginia and it has had zero impact - no gay couples attending. Don't recall it as a topic of discussion; however, in a Sunday School class I asked and one couple did know of a gay couple who were attending church. 

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3 hours ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

My gay son married his partner last year.  He resigned his membership years ago.  There are no adopted children yet, but if there ever are, as their grandfather, it would make me sad to know I could never baptize them.  In fact, I would probably not even attempt to take them to church because I wouldn’t want them to feel left out or “other” by the other children.  

IMO, the impact of this policy has been for the most part a distancing from the church for many both within the church and without rather than children of gay parents.   I am guessing that a lot more children of straight parents have not been baptized as a result of this device policy than children of gay parents.  

There are countless situations where parents might be in conflict with church teachings.  Unmarried couples, part-member families,, inactive couples, parents of a different religion etc.  In all of those situations, a church leader is able to talk to the parents to evaluate as led by the Spirit, what is best for the child.  The strong influence of grandparents and a lack of interest about religion of the parents who are willing to allow and even support the child's choice to attend church may very well be an important factor in deciding what is best for a child.  But what is best for the child gets thrown out the window by this blanket policy against all gay couples and their children.  Treating all gay parents exactly the same is insulting to those parents and their children as well as polygamist families who have a similar one size fits all policy.  The church certainly doesn't do that with other groups.

It just seems like another notch in the belt that the church has been pursuing against gay couples since Prop 8 and their very public opposition to how gay couples choose to live their lives.  If the goal of the church is to strengthen it's perception of being an anti-gay church, this policy certainly reinforced that impression to those outside the church and certainly within the gay community. 

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5 hours ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

My gay son married his partner last year.  He resigned his membership years ago.  There are no adopted children yet, but if there ever are, as their grandfather, it would make me sad to know I could never baptize them.  In fact, I would probably not even attempt to take them to church because I wouldn’t want them to feel left out or “other” by the other children.  

You could still baptize them. It just wouldn’t be until they are adults.

i don’t eee how they would possibly feel left out 

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5 hours ago, Rock_N_Roll said:

My gay son married his partner last year.  He resigned his membership years ago.  There are no adopted children yet, but if there ever are, as their grandfather, it would make me sad to know I could never baptize them. 

I don't think it's correct to say that you could never baptized them. You could baptize them when they turn 18 or later.

Thanks, 

Smac

 

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15 hours ago, Rivers said:

I am sorry to bring this old can of worms up again but I am curious about the kind of impact it as had over the few years it has existed.  I am of course speaking of the infamous policy concerning children in same-sex marriage households.  I had always felt that the impact would be minimal seeing that very few gay couples would have any interest in having their children baptized into the Church.  Anybody have any insights on how many children this has actually affected?

Two of my students were deeply affected by this.  

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6 hours ago, Duncan said:

We had a man in our ward resign his membership over it, he has a Doctorate in Medicine, which is an insane amount of schooling

I also resigned my membership over this November policy.

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15 hours ago, Rivers said:

I am sorry to bring this old can of worms up again but I am curious about the kind of impact it as had over the few years it has existed.  I am of course speaking of the infamous policy concerning children in same-sex marriage households.  I had always felt that the impact would be minimal seeing that very few gay couples would have any interest in having their children baptized into the Church.  Anybody have any insights on how many children this has actually affected?

I don't know that there is a way to determine an exact number of children this has affected.  It's important to mention that over 1,000 members resigned as a direct result of this policy, so it had a profound effect on them and their families, IMO.  

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/11/16/456224955/more-than-1-000-mormons-resign-from-the-lds-church-in-protest

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14 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

I also resigned my membership over this November policy.

That could not have been the only reason and anyone who says it is is not being truthful. Perhaps the last straw maybe?

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24 minutes ago, Ouagadougou said:

It's important to mention that over 1,000 members resigned as a direct result of this policy, so it had a profound effect on them and their families, IMO.  

I would need to be convinced of the profundity on a case-by-case basis.

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