The LDS Church And The Gay Scout Leader Decision

Last week, the LDS Church reacted to the recent Boy Scouts of America (BSA) plan to formally allow openly gay men to be troop leaders (Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Leaders, Over Protests by Mormon Church):

But the new policy allows church-sponsored units to choose local unit leaders who share their precepts, even if that means restricting such positions to heterosexual men.

Despite this compromise, the Mormon Church said it might leave the organization anyway. Its stance surprised many and raised questions about whether other conservative sponsors, including the Roman Catholic Church, might follow suit.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote,” said a statement issued by the church moments after the Scouts announced the new policy. “When the leadership of the church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with scouting will need to be examined.”

Only two weeks ago, the Mormon Church hinted that it could remain in the fold so long as its units could pick their own leaders.

Why is the church so upset? They seem to be miffed because they didn’t participate in the vote but why would the BSA think they would have opposed the policy change? As the article notes, the church indicated they would support the policy if an exception was included. Furthermore, the church has set a very clear precedent that it will support and lobby for laws/policies coercing acceptance of gay lifestyles so long as the church is exempted. The BSA must have felt fine since the policy includes an exemption just like the other laws the church as fully supported.

Maybe this means the church is shifting away from this type of ‘good for thee but not for me’ policies.  Personally, I do hope they come back to the foundational values they’ve held and transition from the increasingly rudderless BSA. However, more than likely, this is just going to amount to a bunch of bluster and they’ll back the (bad) policy. Hope I’m wrong…


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