SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new Mormon church policy targeting gay members and their children has triggered a firestorm of backlash from church members of all political backgrounds.

The new rules bar children living with gay parents from being baptized until they're 18. After that, they can be baptized only if they disavow same-sex relationships. The rules also make gay marriages a sin worthy of expulsion. The changes marked a dramatic detour from the religion's recent push to carve out a more compassionate stance on LGBT issues.

Church leaders say they were made to reiterate the faith's opposition to gay marriage and provide clarity to lay leaders. But Mormon scholar Patrick Mason says targeting kids riled up even orthodox Latter-day Saints who don't usually get on the LGBT bandwagon. The blowback has caused speculation that Mormon leaders will tweak the policy. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins didn't immediately have any comment.