[Note: two updates added below.] Simon says he got exed on Sunday, according to this story at the Signature site, reposting a Canberra Times article (although I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Times readers missed the story). ;-) The result of this action? Free publicity for Mr. Southerton, along with some emotional pain, I suppose, and a boatload of bad PR for the Church in Australia. On the whole, this doesn't seem like a move that will do anyone any good. And since Southerton's claims are largely correct, it looks (to an objective observer) like he was exed for opposing false ideas. I doubt many neutral readers will accept that he was exed for living with another woman while separated from his wife a few years back, especially since they have recently reconciled and are now back together. [See also my earlier post on Southerton, as well as an old post discussing his book Losing a Lost Tribe.]
8/4 Update: Here's the AP wire story (better link here), released on Thursday and featured in dozens of US newspapers. It is apparently based on an email submitted by Southerton to the AP. According to a KUTV story, the moral charge on which Southerton was exed was not "adultery" but "having an inappropriate relationship with a woman." Inappropriate relationship ... okay, so it wasn't adultery? The CHI does list "serious transgressions" as excommunicable, at least "as directed by the Spirit." That should comfort the accused. That term is later defined as "a deliberate and major offense against morality," including adultery, fornication, and "deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities." But in that section only a mandatory disciplinary council was required, not an excommunication result, and even then that requirement was restricted only to those holding prominent leadership positions, including bishop. Southerton has not held such a position for at least seven years. It also says a disciplinary council must be held for "a member who commits a serious transgression ... that is widely known." Southerton's "inappropriate relationship" wasn't widely known until after the local leaders called the disciplinary council. His published opinions were widely known, of course, but they didn't have anything to do with the proceeding, according to his local leaders (as reported by Southerton).
8/5 Update: The Provo Daily Herald ran what appears to be the full text of the AP story, which includes a few details not included in other papers. First, it notes that Southerton plans to appeal the result of his disciplinary proceeding (which appeal, according to the story, goes to the First Presidency). Second, it notes that "Australian church authorities have discussed [Southerton's] book at length with Southerton," which suggests they decided they could not (or would not) ex him solely for his book and other published critiques of LDS beliefs. In the "but-for" sense, it would appear, therefore, that his "inappropriate relationship" that wasn't quite adultery was the cause of the disciplinary council and the result.