SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Several hundred people with roots in the Mormon faith gathered in Salt Lake City on Saturday to renounce the church's new policies targeting gays and their children in the latest illustration of the fervor the rule changes have caused.

Billed as a mass resignation by Mormons, people dropped off letters at a nearby church building to have their names removed from the faith's membership rolls. Most had stopped attending church years ago, but they wanted to finally cut ties with the religion.

They heard from speakers who harshly criticized rules that ban baptisms for children living with gay parents until they turn 18 and make gay marriages a sin worthy of expulsion. The rally came one day after the Mormon church stood behind the policies but issued more explanation and clarifications.