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The Mormon church announced last night that they will no longer accept children of gay couples as church members.

"A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing," the new rule says, referring to a ceremonial acceptance into the church that's usually performed by a church leader.

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The leaders of the religion, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS), do not recognize gay marriage. While they accept gay members, they are expected to remain celibate and can be excommunicated if they're found to have breached that rule.

Yesterday's addition to the official handbooks used by church leaders states that a child of gay parents might be included in the church if they are over 18, no longer live with their parents, and "specifically disavows the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage." The handbook was also updated to explicitly call for a "disciplinary council" if a member is found to be in a same-sex marriage.

One former LDS member, John Dehlin, has researched the experience of LGBT Mormons and the impact of the church's requirements on their mental health. He wrote on Facebook that he thinks the church's move is regressive.

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"We are all diminished by this unfortunate action," he wrote. "As the LDS church continues to paint itself into a corner, it risks becoming increasingly irrelevant to the developed world. Perhaps this is for the best. We shall see."

Following the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage this year, the church re-affirmed its stance that marriage must be between a heterosexual couple.

"God expects us to uphold and keep his commandments regardless of divergent opinions or trends in society," said a letter from church leadership circulated at the time of the court decision.