April 25, 2013; Salt Lake Tribune
Last week, NPQ covered the Boy Scouts’ new proposal to resolve its policy on the inclusion or exclusion of gay scouts—a resolution that split the difference at the age of majority. In a statement posted on the website of the Church of the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Thursday, April 25, 2013, the Mormon Church declared its support for the Boy Scouts’ proposal to allow openly gay youth to participate as scouts, but to bar gay adults as scout leaders.
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The statement reads, in part, “we have followed the discussion and are satisfied that BSA has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain ‘among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.’”
Religious organizations make up 70 percent of sponsoring organizations for Boy Scout Troops and the three largest are Mormons, Methodists and Catholics which sponsored 1 million of the 2.6 million Scouts in 2011. The website for the Boy Scouts says that “[a]t the end of 2010, the Church’s use of Scouting included 142,085 Cub Scouts in 10,345 packs, 205,990 Boy Scouts in 19,285 troops, and 64,645 Venturers in 8,298 crews.”
As always, we welcome reader discussion on this ongoing situation. The vote on the proposal is expected to be taken on May 20th. —Ruth McCambridge