This morning the Office of the First Presidency clarified the handbook changes. These clarifications alleviate or resolve many of the problems being discussed. I'm relieved to hear the intent, much of which aligns with what I had hoped for. While many will still disapprove, the clarification verifies that this was the most poorly written policy since Brigham Young codified the temple/priesthood ban.
Coders, engineers, and lawyers—at very least—should have been able to detect the fundamental flaws in the original language of this policy. (See Bad Code for a description.) I don't know what filter new policy runs through at headquarters, but the team was certainly off their game this time—and the fallout has been tremendous.
Today we learned some important things that were not clear (and some not even addressed) in the original policy:
- Those who enter same-gender committed relationships (marriage or cohabitation) warrant a disciplinary council.
- The restriction of ordinance for minors applies only to children whose primary residence is with a same-gender marriage or cohabitation.
- The newly added Handbook provisions affirm that adults who choose to enter into a same-gender marriage or similar relationship commit sin that warrants a Church disciplinary council.
- Children in such primary-residence homes who are already baptized will not have the policy applied retroactively.
- Decisions about future ordinances for children already “in the system” will be made by local leaders.
- All children are welcome in church meetings and in other participation.
- All children may receive priesthood blessings outside of ordinances.
What are your thoughts?