An estimated 2,500 people attended a Salt Lake City rally on Saturday to protest a new Mormon Church policy that targets gays and their children.

The policy change sparked an outcry that led to roughly 1,000 people submitting letters of resignation online. Attorneys received 1,500 additional letters at the event.

Kyler McGhee, a former Mormon, told KUTV that he feels “a sense of relief” about his decision to leave the church.

“Unfortunately, the church decided to slam their doors in our face,”he said.

Most of the people participating had long left the church.

The changes to the Mormon handbook (the Handbook of Instructions) were disseminated earlier this month to local church leaders.

The Mormon Church said that it considers gay married Mormons apostates, which could lead to excommunication. A disciplinary council “may be necessary” for gay cohabiting couples, the handbook states.

Additionally, the children of parents in gay or lesbian relationships, married or cohabiting, cannot join the Mormon Church until they turn 18 and then only if they are no longer living with their parents, disavow same-sex relationships and receive approval from the church's highest leaders.

Teresa Schofield told the AP that she stopped attending Mormon services more than a decade ago.

“We're supposed to love our children like God loves us. To ask someone to turn their back on their own child or for a child to turn their back on a parent, that's unnecessary,” she said.

“To call the exclusion and the discrimination some type of protection, I don't believe it,” Misty McGinnis told ABC4 News.