Monday, September 21, 2015

LDS Church Will Remain with BSA

LDS Church to stay with scouting program … for now

Last month, the LDS church issued a statement to declare their continued charter with the BSA:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appreciates the positive contributions Scouting has made over the years to thousands of its young men and boys and to thousands of other youth. As leaders of the Church, we want the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances, thereby equipping them for greater success in life and valuable service to their country. 
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. 
With equal concern for the substantial number of youth who live outside the United States and Canada, the Church will continue to evaluate and refine program options that better meet its global needs.

Since the LDS Church was reassured that they could appoint leaders of their choosing and discrimination, they will continue their association withe BSA. 

Since Utah scouting is primarily LDS chartered, some groups are working to get nondenominational charters that openly accept LGBT people as leaders and scouts. One such group is "Restore Our Humanity", a group that started in protest to Utah's Amendment 3 banning same-sex marriage.

SB296, a bill passed in Utah this year to balance anti-discrimination for LGBT and Religious Freedom to those that oppose lifestyles associated with LGBT people, specifically adds protections for BSA. It is likely that there will be hurdles for new groups supporting LGBT scouting to be recognized by the Great Salt Lake North District Council. Although BSA nationally approves gay scouts and leaders, the local councils may block the creation of groups they don't approve of in relation to LGBT people.

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