Mormon Church won’t split from Boy Scouts over gay members, despite threats

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The Mormon Church will not abandon the Boy Scouts of America once it ends a ban on gay people – despite consistent threats to do so.

The BSA’s national executive board last month ratified a decision to lift its blanket ban on adult gay scout leaders, after first lifting the ban on gay youth members two years ago.

The President of the Boy Scouts of America, Robert Gates, had said the policy was “no longer legally defensible” and could lead to costly legal action.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has been affiliated with the BSA for 100 years, said it was “deeply troubled” by the decision and would review the church’s “century-long association with Scouting” as a result.

The Mormon church, which sponsors nearly 38,000 Scout units and accounts for 18 percent of all youth Scouts, added: “The admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.”

However, despite threatening repeatedly to split away from the Boy Scouts over the issue  and form a splinter group that still discriminates – the Church reneged this week on its threat to do so.

After the ‘Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles’ met this week, the anti-gay church admitted in a humiliating climbdown that it wouldn’t follow through on its threats to leave the boy scouts.

It said: “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.”

The statement adds: “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.”