The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, voted to allow the performing of same-sex marriages and the ordination of members in the same-sex to the priesthood at the Canadian national conference June 16. These policies would only affect congregations in Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal.
The vote requires approval by the church’s First Presidency and Council of the Twelve and may take up to a year to implement.
“After years of study, dialogue, and prayer, members connected through technology from 15 sites across the nation to address two issues: whether to permit ordination of people in same-gender marriages; and whether to allow priesthood to perform same-gender marriages,” a church statement said. “After hearing multiple perspectives, including views from international representatives, the Canada National Conference, by more than the required two-thirds majority, made the following recommendations to the Community of Christ First Presidency and Council of Twelve Apostles:
- There be a change in policy to allow Community of Christ priesthood to perform the sacrament of marriage for same-gender couples in Canada (same-gender marriage is legal in Canada); and
- There be a change in policy to allow the sacrament of ordination for individuals in same-gender marriages in Canada.
Headquartered in Independence, Mo., Community of Christ is an international church with nearly a quarter-million members in about 50 countries. There are nearly 60 Community of Christ congregations spread throughout Canada. The church broke ranks with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints an the early 1800s, believing that Joseph Smith III, the eldest son of Joseph Smith, Jr., was his father’s legitimate successor upon his death.