An apostate is one who formerly had religious beliefs and is now denying them. A pagan or infidel may never take up beliefs. But an apostate is seen as worse, one who believed and then rejected that belief. In many religions that is a reason for kicking out the apostate. For a few that is a good reason for stoning – professing you're one of the good people, then actively rejecting it has to be the worst evil.
To help identify the apostate the Mormon leadership has listed five sure signs of apostasy. The first is the expected, "Repeatedly act in clear, open, and deliberate public opposition to the Church or its leaders." Three more are in the same vein. And that last one: "Are in a same-gender marriage."
Yup, being gay and marrying the love of your life is a complete rejection of the Mormon religion and grounds for being shunned by those still in the church.
Because the gay couple are considered apostates, their children cannot be baptized as long as they live with the gay parents. And at the baptism they must renounce their parent's relationship.
These rulings by the leadership are not going down well with the membership. Yesterday there was a mass resignation from the Mormon church. About 1500 took part, many already disillusioned by the church. But the deciding factor was when the kids were affected.
Alas, there has been a dramatic increase in calls to suicide prevention hotlines.