SALT LAKE CITY — The world's largest genealogy organization is redesigning FamilySearch.org so the LDS Church-sponsored database can store and provide records of same-sex families.
FamilySearch first said in 2015 it would add a feature for same-sex relationships in the future. The major overhaul to the website's system should be ready by 2019, according to a statement on the website updated in April.
The statement said FamilySearch.org's goal is to capture accurate genealogy "that represents past, present and future families of the world."
"To support this goal," the release continued, "same-sex relationships, including same-sex parents and same-sex couples, will be provided in FamilySearch Family Tree. Several systems that surround Family Tree, such as tree and record searching, must be significantly redesigned to support same-sex relationships before Family Tree can release this capability."
FamilySearch International is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The leader of a group that seeks equal rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Utahns and their families hailed the changes to FamilySearch.As pointed out in the statement, this is not really "new" news. Some of the online family tree programs have designated all marital relationships as "marital partners" for some years now. The FamilySearch.org Family Tree program already allows entering relationships without requiring a formal marriage date.