A Utah lawyer has developed a significant practice assisting Mormons leave their church, a practice based on his own painful departure from the church. In recent weeks the client list has grown massively.
Based on what he describes as the “painful process” his family endured when attempting to leave the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the world’s largest Mormon denomination, Mark Naugle of the Cueva Law Firm says he decided he wanted to ease the process for others.
And he’s been true to his word. He has filed around 375 church resignations between 2009 and 2015, according to a report in The Guardian, but they are now pouring in. In the past two weeks he has filed thousands of applications, he says.
“I’ve just now got four emails in my inbox,” Naugle said approximately 10 minutes into an interview over the phone. “They were coming in about one a minute for the first week or so.”
So why the rush? The wave of new applications comes after the church issued an “instructional letter” in respect of children of same-sex marriages.
The letter said that children living in same-sex households could not be blessed as babies or baptized as members until they turn 18. They would also have to denounce same-sex cohabitation and leave their parents’ house.
Since that letter was released in early November, Naugle has filed more than 2,600 resignations, representing Mormons from across the US and Europe, as well as from India, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Mexico. He filed paperwork on behalf of the hundreds who attended a mass resignation event over the weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the LDS church is headquartered.
“Most people just say they can’t believe they’re doing this to the children,” Naugle said. “A lawyer doesn’t need to be involved, but they’ll have to deal with local backlash.”
Source: The Guardian