A month after the Boy Scouts of America rescinded the ban on gay leaders, religious groups are still trying to figure out whether they want to be associated with an organization that treats homosexuals like humans.
While some vocal evangelical Christians have said the Scouts will now be a playground for pedophiles and a place where child abuse will run rampant, the big question was what the Mormon Church would do. The Church is the largest sponsor of the BSA, “serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops.”
Would they maintain ties with an organization that’s (gasp) openly tolerant of gay people?
In the resolution adopted on July 27, 2015, and in subsequent verbal assurances to us, BSA has reiterated that it expects those who sponsor Scouting units (such as the Church) to appoint Scout leaders according to their religious and moral values “in word and deed and who will best inculcate the organization’s values through the Scouting program.” At this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward as a chartering organization of BSA, and as in the past, will appoint Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify Church doctrine, values, and standards.
That’s a very positive spin to a press release that boils down to, “We will continue discriminating against gay people because the Boy Scouts of America says we can.”
If only BSA officials had the ability to respond with, “Well, we don’t want your discriminatory troops in our organization.” But that’s not really an option right now. They’re trying to hold on to whatever troops they can, even if it means making concessions on treating gay leaders with dignity and respect.
(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were published earlier)