Community of Christ to Start Marrying, Blessing Same-Sex Couples
Formerly Known as the RLDS, Church Will Also Ordain Gays and Lesbians Who Are Married or Partnered
by Hugo Salinas
On April 21, the National Conference of the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) recommended to the First Presidency that the Church in the U.S. extend marriage to gays couples where same-sex marriage is legal. For states which do not have marriage equality, the Conference recommends implementing covenant commitment ceremonies. The same conference recommended allowing priesthood ordinations regardless of sexual orientation so long as the person is either married or in a monogamous, committed, same-sex relationship.
In a blog entry about the policy change, LDS author Carol Lynn Pearson wrote that she is “very glad to be Restoration Cousins with these good people [of the Community of Christ],” and “to be walking with them on the journey toward inclusion of our gay brothers and sisters”.
John Hamer, an out man and Community of Christ historian, says the move “is consistent with Community of Christ’s trajectory over the past half century, which has been to focus on building Christ-centered communities.”
“Jesus preached the gospel of inclusion and of love,” John added. “He opposed the worship of senseless rules as hypocritical and ‘pharisaical,’ and yet ironically soon after Jesus’ death Christians began to fixate on their own senseless rules, using them to marginalize others.”
LDS blogger and political scientist Chris Henrichsen praised the Community of Christ in a blog entry announcing the new policy.
“For me, the Community of Christ is an example of the vibrancy of the Restoration movement that started with Joseph Smith,” Chris wrote. “They are my brothers and sisters in the Restoration.”
Read the full story at cofchrist.org/usaConf.