However, some Texas parents and leaders have decided to switch to Trail Life USA, an alternative which declares itself "a Christian adventure, character, and leadership program for young men." Among them is Ron Orr, a business consultant from the Fort Worth area who is signing up local units for the group.
So far, he said he has 25 groups "pre-chartered" for a Jan. 1 launch date in the territory covered by the BSA's Circle Ten and Longhorn councils. That's modest compared to the 39,000 Scouts served by the Circle Ten council alone.
Orr is part of a family with four generations of Eagle Scouts. His older son recently earned his Eagle rank and his younger son was on the verge of doing likewise. But Orr said he could not stand by after the policy change.
"As Christians, from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin," Orr said. "We've got to be able to hold a strong line and set a consistent example for our young men."
Orr said his decision to cut ties with the BSA rested in part on the Scout Oath, which includes the admonition to remain "morally straight."
Scott Scarborough of Lubbock, Texas, is helping Orr recruit Trail Life members in the Texas Panhandle, a mostly rural, conservative region. Scarborough said he offered to let his 14-year-old son stay in Boy Scouts and achieve his Eagle rank, but the boy elected to join him in Trail Life.
Orr and Scarborough said they didn't consider themselves rivals to the Boy Scouts, though they've chosen a different path.
"Our tradition comes out of Boy Scouts," Scarborough said. "We'll never not honor that heritage."
BSA's FAQs: http://www.scouting.org
Crary reported from New York and Merchant from Dallas. Follow them on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/craryap and http://www.twitter.com/nomaanmerchant
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