Former Mormon John Dehlin appeals excommunication

(Photo: Reuters)John Dehlin was officially charged with "conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church."

Popular blogger John Dehlin appealed his excommunication from the Mormon Church on Tuesday, saying the ruling was incorrect.

Dehlin was booted from the Church of Latter Day Saints last month for apostasy, but asked the First Presidency governing board to reevaluate the decision.

The Church took issue with the Utah resident's "categorical statements opposing the doctrines of the church, and their wide dissemination via your Internet presence, which has led others away from the church," according to North Logan stake president Bryan King.

Dehlin's blog serves as a forum for Mormons questioning their faith to talk to like-minded individuals. Dehlin also became an ordained minister in another faith, and has openly supported same-sex marriage.

The 45-year-old faced numerous disciplinary actions over the years, but refused to give up the controversial activities. He said Mormons who share his viewpoints on same-sex marriage, female priests, and other controversial subjects have told him that they fear that they too will be excommunicated.

"These members deserve clear guidance from the First Presidency as to whether they are also subject to be cut off from the body of the Church for their unorthodox beliefs," Dehlin wrote in an open letter to the church leaders.

He also accused his excommunication hearing of being "flawed and unfair," and alleged that the disciplinary committee did not follow proper procedures.

The Church denied that Dehlin was ousted because of his support for gay marriage and female priests in the LDS Church. In regards to his appeal, LDS spokeswoman Kristen Howey said it is within Dehlin's rights to protest.

"The decisions of disciplinary councils are always open to appeal and the Church will proceed accordingly," she wrote in an email to Reuters.

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