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The church also announced that married gay Mormons would no longer be treated as "apostates" within the church. This reversal significantly expands the doctrinal shades of gray within an overwhelmingly black-and-white faith. Within the realm of policy implementation, it places the onus on local bishops to determine the nature of their inclusivity regarding gay members and their families. While the hard-line policy made it impossible for bishops to allow the baptism of children with LGBT parents, or allow same-sex marriage to go undisciplined, this reversal will create an implicit "don't ask, don't tell" policy within many church congregations -- particularly those in urban cities that have wrestled with how to meet the needs of millennials while adhering to the prescriptions of church headquarters.
Now, each bishop has the choice of how to respond to same-sex marriage within his congregation -- a sin that once, technically, would necessitate excommunication.
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While the church states that same-sex marriage is still a "serious transgression," this policy will allow more liberal bishops to determine ecclesiastical discipline or nondiscipline on an individual basis. For many congregations, this will likely mean welcoming gay members and their families with open arms. However, this change still relegates LGBT Mormons to a second-class status within the church, one that is deemed inherently "unworthy" of full church participation.
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The Mormon church's new 'don't ask, don't tell' policy
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