LDS Church responds to Boy Scouts of America's policy vote

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  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    May 26, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    Re: snowman

    Don't know what your definition of normal is. The Handbook states that in the US, the Scouting program is to be the activity/mutual portion of the Young Men's program. I'll trust the leaders of the Church over you any day.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 26, 2013 6:44 p.m.

    Claudio: not in normal LDS wards. Scouts is held on a different night.

  • NightOwlAmerica SALEM, OR
    May 26, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    As an Eagle Scout I have mixed emotions about this. But to be clear I will say the following. The Gospel was restored to the earth, not the BSA. The Church is a sponsor of the BSA. It's not a requirement to join the BSA in order to carry out Aaronic Priesthood functions. Unfortunately there are cases where families are pressured and told " it's an obligation to join and support to enroll their kids". And then have more pressure put on them to donate to Friends of Scouting and other things.
    Nobody should feel like that, that what unions do. Yes the BSA is the activity arm of the YM organization. But by reading what some are saying here, it's like you are saying the YM are incapable of doing activities without the BSA.
    If people don't want to participate leave them alone.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 26, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    Re: "Local Scouting is BSA, BSA is local Scouting."

    Yeah, yeah. Same old tune BSA's professional scouters have been singing for years. Maybe it's even been true, to one extent or another, depending on one's location, in the past.

    But now?

    What will National Council do when LGBT activists don't go quietly into the night? What happens the next time atheists sue? How about when international scouts withhold recognition? These are all matters of absolute indifference to local scouters. But they've assumed huge import to BSA. They're the wedge Scouting's enemies use to influence BSA to act against the interests of its chartering orgs.

    National Council is BSA. And BSA has shown it's more concerned for the feelings and beliefs of Scouting's enemies, than for those of its friends.

    As we all know, that makes it a mere matter of time before we'll be forced to part ways.

    Here's hoping it'll be awhile, but it's now inevitable. And, in the meantime, BSA has taken another step away from local Scouting.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    May 26, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    Re: snowman

    For someone who claims years of experience, you sure are wrong a lot. The Young Men's program, specifically with regards to Mutual Night activities, is Scouting. Are you deliberately trying to deceive, or are you just that ignorant?

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    May 26, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Scouting is (continues) to be the activity arm of the young mens program of the LDS Church. If you support the LDS prophet you will support your young men in scouting.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 26, 2013 9:18 a.m.


    I would also invite you to volunteer for your Districts FoS campaign nest year as a presenter. Been there done that for many years. And just so you know, The young mens program has nothing to do with scouting. It's two totally different programs.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    May 26, 2013 8:41 a.m.

    I'm so embarrassed for so many of you.
    Hardly a one of you is qualified to even post an opinion on this subject and any other article that involves the rights of the "gay" community.
    I'm shaking my head in utter disbelief in your archaic attitudes and so thankful I don't live anywhere near most of you.
    Let the witch hunt begin.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 25, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    Shown it's hand? It adopted a position consistent with its largest supporter and Chartering Partner's position. Is that bad? BSA had complete legal grounds to continue the prior position, but chose on its own accord to re-examine it; it was not forced to do so. It took input from its own membership before formulating a position that the majority could support. Is that the bad thing? Consider this: When the missionary age was lowered, opposition suddenly intensified. Coincidence? No. Since this is the program most effective in preparing young men for missionary service and was endorsed again in the recent Young Men leadership Broadcast.."we don't need another program", we need to support it. Local Scouting is BSA, BSA is local Scouting. The Methods of Scouting are still there, the values of Scouting are still there, the Aims of Scouting are still there. It is still the activity arm of the Aaronic Priesthood of the LDS Church and still has the support of its biggest Chartering Partner. BSA indeed merits your support.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 25, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    Re: "I would also invite you to volunteer for your Districts FoS campaign ne[x]t year as a presenter."

    No thanks, Jack.

    Next year will be the first in 40 or so years we won't be donating to FOS. BSA has shown its hand. It will eventually betray its friends and cave in to pressure from those who hate the organization and what it has always stood for.

    I can't, in good conscience, continue to support BSA. I'll continue to support local Scouting as long as I can, but BSA no longer merits my support.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 25, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    I have been in Scouting for almost the many years, I currently serve as the District Commissioner in my District of 149 units. FoS does NOT fund any Scouting units, it benefits them through capital improvements like upkeep on the Scout camps, purchase of equipment and real estate and program materials. I would ask you to do some research into FoS, and the charter agreement signed between your chartering organization and the Council. FoS funds do not return to the Chartered Organization directly. I would also invite you to volunteer for your Districts FoS campaign nest year as a presenter. You will be trained and receive materials to distribute to the units when you give your presentation. Those materials are quite specific as to where the donations go and how they are used.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    May 25, 2013 8:36 p.m.


    Did you even read the church response?

    Did you read my reply to "Legalize_the_Constitution" at 6:16 PM yesterday?

    In the last days, the elect will be agreeable with the Lord and his church. If you aren't in agreement, I really REALLY do understand that. But publishing it is not the way.

    ANY time you feel at odds or in doubt you ought to kneel in prayer and ask. Those who don't will surely be lead away. Those who care for the welfare of their soul don't murmur. When we feed doubt we surely must repent and humble ourselves, then ask in faith if something is right.

    All people do is extend arms of love and help to struggling young men and so many are downing gallons and gallons of pickle juice because of it. I can't imagine the horror of my bishop turning me away. If he had, I would not be the same man I am today.

    Murmuring is not the way. It will not bring answers. It will not confirm truth. It does not help or serve anyone. It destroys our love of God and His children.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 25, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    @zoar --

    "If there is no family history of homosexuality than it is impossible to be born that way."

    That's baloney.

    There are tons of congenital conditions that do not have "family histories". Downs syndrome is one obvious and common example -- trisomy 21 is not inherited at all.

    Nonetheless, several studies HAVE found that homosexuality may tend to follow family lines and may have genetic linkages. Check out recent studies by Sergey Gavrilets, for instance, other studies by Andrea Camperio-Ciani, and yet other studies by Dean Hamer.

    Also, research done by Simon LeVay has found physical differences in the brains -- specifically the hypothalamus -- between gay and straight men.

    And in women who are born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia, roughly half of these women grow up to be lesbian.

    So, yes indeed, plenty of research DOES point towards a genetic/biological origin for homosexuality.

    And heck, even the LDS church itself acknowledges that homosexuality is not a choice.

  • zoar63 Mesa, AZ
    May 25, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    @Sneaky Jimmy

    "The boy scouts did the only thing they could do to stay relevant. They have finally realized you should not exclude young men because of the way they were born."

    If there is no family history of homosexuality than it is impossible to be born that way. So if homosexuals claim that is the way they were born do they support that argument with evidence that their family lines have relatives that were also homosexuals?

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 25, 2013 5:18 p.m.

    @banderson --

    "Their message is clear, if you are acting out on something that isn't your nature, you are sinning"

    Now here's an interesting statement.

    The LDS church acknowledges that same-sex attraction is not a choice.

    And if it's not a choice, then it is indeed "in the nature" of the homosexual person to feel this attraction.

    Those are your only two options -- choice, or nature.

    So, according to your own words, homosexuals SHOULD act on their attractions -- because, after all, it is in their nature.

    According to your own words, homosexuals would be sinning if they did NOT act on their attractions.

  • ReadMineFirst Ft. Collins, CO
    May 25, 2013 4:28 p.m.

    In response to Manzanita: I truly agree with your comment. From the very deepest part of my soul I find myself screaming out..."President Packer"! And how does this decision agree with Elder Oak's call in October 2012 General Conference to protect the children of the world? I am so utterly confused. Even my sweet very active daughter asked her husband if he wished that they were Southern Baptists right now.

  • crawfordzoo Barstow, CA
    May 25, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    Contrary to popular believe FOS donations do not fund any troops, but only local councils. See the BSA website for verification. I tried to post the link but couldn't.
    As for those who noticed that the comments have changed: the whole issue has changed. A few months ago the proposed vote was for total inclusion. The vote now was whether to allow boys who are openly gay. And I am with the church on this one: as long as they follow the standards, I don't see a problem with it. However, I don't know how the voting was reported in your neck of the woods on TV. Here in Cali it was very one-sided: most stations only interviewed members of the LGBT community and they are outraged. They feel nothing has been accomplished and they will continue to push. As someone said, the door has been opened. This vote just bought some time for the boys. But I feel it is the beginning of the end for BSA. Hope it will last long enough for my son to make Eagle.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    May 25, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    I see this as just one more victory for secular religion. The LDS Church's support of it is puzzling but not a surprise.

  • milojthatch Sandy, UT
    May 25, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    I need to say first and formost, I'll support what ever the church does. My interpretation of the church's stance is that they will support this depending on what BSA does with it. So, it is still possible the church could still pull support from BSA over this, or maybe not. Time will tell, and that is the point, we have to see what happens.

    That said, based on how our society works, I think BSA made the wrong call. Now they are going to be fighting a two front war. The liberals have made it clear this is not "good enough" and now conservatives are mad too. I'm expecting many lawsuits to come as well. I think the best thing BSA could do (since their very existence is at stake) is go for an all or nothing approach, so that at least one side is fully supportive. Let's be honest, even if the church supports BSA, how many members won't? Will be interesting to see how many units are left in a year.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 25, 2013 12:17 p.m.

    The gay community doesn't care about kids as much as they care about their issues, which is acceptance of something immoral. The Scouts are walking a very thin line, something the gay community will only see as a way to eventually get full 'acceptance' of the gay lifestyle. The church's stance is thus: We know we have members who struggle with adultery, pornograpy, homosexuality, dishonesty, abuse, etc; We welcome all of God's children to come to the waters of Christ, but if you are tempted to adultery, don't do it; if you are tempted to pornograhy, don't do it, if you are tempted to homosexuality, don't do it. The church hasn't changed their stance on the evils of Homosexuality one bit. However, all are children of God and as such, He wants to give them every chance in the world to get it right. Their message is clear, if you are acting out on something that isn't your nature, you are sinning, and sexual sins are of the most grevious. The Scouts, unfortunately, are just the latest whipping boy for achieving acceptance of immorality. Patience. God is in control.

  • grinchpiggy Provo, UT
    May 25, 2013 10:58 a.m.

    Fortunately my son just got his Eagle Scout, because as of this vote, my family is done with belonging to the Scouting organization.

  • foyfarm Winnsboro, TX
    May 25, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    I'm an active church member and scout leader, my husband is Cubmaster and our son is a Cubscout. I am not willing to allow my son to be a political pawn for an organization that has fallen to political and financial fear. I am disapointed that adults are confronting our compassion for children to forward an agenda. The gay rights lobbyists have made it clear that they will continue to push for laws that punush organizations for excluding homosexuals, regardless of religious beliefs. I regret that my church leaders have chosen to stave off lawsuits over taking a strong stance against homosexuality. I'm glad the Baptist organizations are holding to their religious convictions. I regret that my church chose to be safe rather than drawing a line in the sand. And yes, I love homosexual/gay people of all ages.

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 25, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Jack: Having been a Scout leader for over 35 years I should know what I am talking about.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    May 25, 2013 7:39 a.m.

    "NPR has stated within the last week that homeless teens are 40-60% gay. "

    Because bigoted parents kick them out.

    So by using your logic every hooker and every John are sex maniacs/nympho's

    NPR is wrong at least twice a day.......these teens are indeed homeless, but because they choose to perform homosexual acts hardly makes them gay by choice

  • R. Wayne CONCORD, CA
    May 25, 2013 3:31 a.m.

    it is interesting that since 1910 there have been a lot of gay boys in scouting but silent about their orientation. the only difference now is that they can be open about it.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    May 25, 2013 1:53 a.m.

    Whatever their orientation, kids don't need to be having sex with anybody. And keeping busy, mind, heart, and hands, is good for all of them at a time when so much is going on inside. But tell me, bitd, before all this came up, was anyone concerned with young people experimenting, or sharing magazines they shouldn't have been reading (or even knowing about)? No one seems worried, either, when men are at the girls' camp. Or is this something reserved for SSA and, especially males? Is it fear of the unknown? Would it not make more sense to discuss these fears with those who have something to say based on their own experience, rather than sharing it with others who have never had any experience in this? Just a suggestion.

  • Manzanita Las Vegas, NV
    May 25, 2013 12:43 a.m.

    Have the Boy Scouts just fallen into a "tolerance trap"?

  • forgiven&loved Pocatello, ID
    May 24, 2013 10:58 p.m.

    How do we expect to bring others unto Christ if we can't show them the love of Christ. By allowing "gays" into the scouting program, we are not openly embracing the lifestyle, or embracing it at all for that matter. We are simply showing them that they are able to find the love of Christ. We can't expect a teenage boy to run to the Church (or to Christ) if he is pushed away for his confusion. The Prophet understands this, and I stand beside him, as he receives this revelation from Christ.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 10:03 p.m.

    The Church should make very clear that any boy who advocates sexual activity (either homosexual or heterosexual) is not welcome in a Scout organization. Sometimes, just the advocacy can be as damaging to a young child as the actual physical contact.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 24, 2013 9:53 p.m.

    FoS funds the capitol improvements at the Scout owned properties, pays salaries and adds to the financial strength of BSA. It does not fund units. Each unit must fund itself through fund-raising or through the chartering organization. FoS benefits all units, it does not fund them.

  • why me? Provo, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:25 p.m.

    What will happen to the scout oath...."morally straight"?

  • snowman Provo, UT
    May 24, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    J-TX: Friends of Scouting funds all Scout units

  • keepamericafree salt lake, UT
    May 24, 2013 6:47 p.m.

    Heres the problem with this.....Young boys will often do things like pee on the fire or go swimming in the lake in their underwear and so forth. I do not think it is a good idea to have young boys who are attracted to other boys sharing tents and going on overnight sleep overs. Just like I believe young boys and young girls shouldn't be sharing tents and going on over night trips together. I think this is just asking for trouble.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 6:16 p.m.


    Do you want the church to say "Go all ye heathens to the depths of the fiery pit lest ye repent"?

    I have read in D&C recently about preaching nothing but repentance, so I appreciate your concern. But I also read that until we are called to direct anything else that we aren't to do it. If you are questioning the decisions of the church, keep it to yourself and God. Pray about it. But publishing them is not the way to go.

    Sometimes prophets are bold, sometimes they aren't because others will simply harden to boldness. Unless you have the power and authority to know which is right at which time then where is your complaint?

    You can't declare repentance by saying "get away from here kid, you aren't welcome". I don't like it when members call themselves "openly gay Mormon" for various reasons, but I have no right to tell them not to come to church. I worry about the youth's exposure to an acceptance of certain behaviors just as much, but firm reproach isn't always right. Speaking softly can be just as intense. Helaman 5:30

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    May 24, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    This changes nothing for chartering organizations who don't wish to admit them.

  • James Graham Winter Haven, FL
    May 24, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    I am or was a Cubmaster at my ward and I have two sons in the scouting program. I will be resigning my position and my boys will not participate in this program. The Church can't control the majority of units here as it does in Utah and all it takes is one "lost boy" to act out on his desires on my younger sons. I refuse to let that happen. Sure, the boys in the ward unit are probably ok, but what about at council events or Jamboree type events. Can they make that promise to me? I doubt it. And this fight is not over as they will keep pushing for gay leaders. I am astonished and hurt by the Church's support of immorality by their non-action. But they probably were not thinking much past Salt Lake City.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    May 24, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    As a former scout and scout leader I thank the Church for its compassionate view. I hope other religious organizations will follow.

  • Rake LAS VEGAS, NV
    May 24, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Kickin' story, Sarah. Glad you included your byline.

  • Legalize_the_Constitution SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:49 p.m.

    I'm an active LDS member and have been all my life, and have never questioned the decisions or the direction of the church until recently with respect to these homosexual positions and policies that we have seen of late. I feel like the church is trying to remain morally neutral on an issue that is very important to stand up for what is right with boldness and clarity.

    While I don't blame those with same sex attraction temptations for having the temptation, I do believe in redemption and repentance, and I don't think the church is clearly articulating a path of repentance and forsaking temptation when it comes to these issues.

    For the scouts, I wouldn't want my young boys to go on camp outs with other boys who have openly declared they are gay. If a young man is confused about his sexual orientation, that is one thing, but when someone proclaims they are gay I believe that they have made a decision to accept these temptations as fact and give up the fight towards trying to change and live morally straight.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    If the issue ever becomes, (which I suspect it will) about homosexual scout masters and leaders, then I suspect the LDS Church may have to re-examin the issue. I never thought the church would try to exclude children from Scouts no matter what issues they may have. So let's see where this goes from here. It would be nice if it stopped at this point, but I bet it won't. Progressive forces are never satisfied until they have destroyed all tradition.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    People really don't see the difference between a young boy who may be gay and a girl?

    News flash for everyone, there are already gay boys in scouts. For one thing most boys of scouting age probably don't know one way or the other, and haven't thought about it. They may have some confusing feelings start to emerge at that age, but that's probably about it.

    Do you want to be the bishop that has to tell the young 14 year old boy that he can't join scouts with the rest of the boys in the ward because he has been having feelings of attraction towards other boys?

    Sexuality doesn't belong in scouts one way or the other. This should really be a non-issue, and I am glad to see the official church statement saying pretty much that.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    May 24, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    Once again, these completely human organizations continue to make unremarkable, predictable, and totally flawed decisions - decisions that demonstrate over and over again that either there is no god to give "revelation" on such matters, or there are no humans capable of receiving god's mind and will on such matters, or both.

    Those who claim to speak for god are no better, and most often worse, at making policy and doctrine decisions as are regular human beings using their rational minds without any god.

    Hmmm. Go figure.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    May 24, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    Why is it okay for a "faithful" LDS member to openly declare that the Church is wrong on this BSA issue, including suggesting they will refuse a calling to serve in the organization (a calling that presumably comes from God), but it is not possible to be "faithful" if a member openly declares that the Church is wrong on the Prop 8 issue in the eyes of the "faithful" LDS posters here?

    What a curious observation.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    May 24, 2013 2:29 p.m.

    "...The key is the need to be chaste. The feelings of being gay in themselves is not a sin. it is the acting on the feelings. No different from a heterosexual boy. They have hormones for girls no big deal they need to control those hormones."

    Look, I totally agree with your statement, but we are not dealing with whether having gay feelings are sinful or not. We are dealing with the issue of whether a boy with homosexual tendencies will be helped or hindered from entertaining sexual thoughts by sharing a tent with another boy.

    To help you understand my thinking, please answer me honestly. Is it appropriate at Girls Camp for a chaste teenage boy to share a pup tent with a chaste young woman if there is no mutual attraction between them? Moreover, would it be appropriate for a chaste teenage boy to share a tent with an attractive chaste young woman who is not attracted to men? Why or why not?

    Remember that the Church didn't make this decision, but they are going to work with it and I agree that they should. My point is that it is going to complicate things a bit.

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    May 24, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    This will be the same issue as the blacks getting the priesthood in the 70's. Some never could fathom how black's got the priesthood and were angry at the church for including all worthy members to have the priesthood.

    Today it is gays. There will be some that can't fathom how gays can participate in scouts or the priesthood. The key is the need to be chaste. The feelings of being gay in themselves is not a sin. it is the acting on the feelings. No different from a heterosexual boy. They have hormones for girls no big deal they need to control those hormones.

    This is really a non issue unless you want to make it one.

    This is why you should never justify your gospel beliefs with politics. Your politics may lead you astray but the gospel won't.

  • Rebe Herriman, UT
    May 24, 2013 12:21 p.m.

    There was never any rule regarding sexual orientation in the BSA, so things haven't changed for all of you who now say, "I won't be supporting BSA anymore." The moral rule has not changed of "no sexual relations." LDS church members should be on board with this 100% if they truly believe that being gay in and of itself is not a sin. I would also like to point out that most young teenage boys with same sex attraction have not come out. They are in turmoil, struggling with their feelings of being different and most of them loathing themselves because of what they feel. Believe me, they are not going to "come on" to your sons that are straight. At that age, they are hiding who they are for fear of ridicule and exclusion (which it seems many of adults are happy to promote). I applaud the BSA in this clarification of their stance and the LDS church for supporting it!!

  • LDS Cedar City, UT
    May 24, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    For most of my life, I thought homosexuals were deviants. I did my share of looking down my nose at them, believing them to be sinners destined to be burned, as was Sodom and Gomorrah. In recent years I have read so much about all kinds of medical research into all kinds of conditions. It seems clear that there are genetic or other biological reasons for all our conditions.

    I believe now that same-sex attraction is natural and biologically-rooted. It is seen in nature among animals. We see it among humans. Same-sex attraction comes in varying degrees of intensity, as does heterosexual attraction.

    How the Lord wants us to treat each other is not always clear (e.g. the black race). But we should be open minded, which will help us be accepting and loving of all.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    May 24, 2013 11:34 a.m.

    I think the church made the correct decision, but there are nagging problems coming down the pike that will need to be addressed.

    Suppose two boys are struggling with same-sex attraction, but are keeping the standards of the church. Now suppose these two boys are in a position to share a tent together. Now if I am trying to keep the standards of the church and I have homosexual tendencies, how will going on a campout and sharing a tent with other boys not be a potential source of temptation? And what if two boys share that temptation? Are we going to say it be the responsibility of the leaders to ask each boy which sex they are attracted to so they are properly segregated? You see where I am going here?

    Let me lay out the problem another way. Why do heterosexually oriented boys not attend girls camp? After all, if I keep the standards of the church and the girl in the tent with me is ugly, it shouldn't be a problem, right?

    My point is, the whole idea of the ban was to keep it simple by keeping the sexual element out of it altogether.

  • bluecoug89 Highland, UT
    May 24, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    For all you people who are saying that the church is "softening" its stance towards gays and that the leadership is "progressive" need to know that nothing has changed at all. You think that we hate gays, but that's not true. People who have same-sex attraction are welcome to church, welcome to participate, can go to the temple, etc. as long as they are not acting on it and violating the law of chastity (which says that ANY kind of sexual relation outside of marriage is wrong). I have friends who have same-sex attraction and they are able to go to the temple, hold callings, etc. They were in scouts! If having the same stance as before is considered "progressive" then you're right, but that word implies some change and there hasn't been any changes made.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    "There really is no such thing as a gay teen. "

    You never had a crush on someone of the opposite gender while you were a teen?

    "NPR has stated within the last week that homeless teens are 40-60% gay. "

    Because bigoted parents kick them out.

  • 8plex Alpine, UT
    May 24, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    I suppose church leaders believe that they are outsmarting the gay movement. They might hold off a major lawsuit for a few years with their decision. Eventually all will learn that the gay movement is after religion and while this decision slowed down their movement it will come back in force with bigger guns blazing. For now, scouting is a front in this fight and a small barrier between religion and the gay movement. The innocent boys are just pawns in this game. The church states blanket policy hoping to advert any negative consequences like they received for prop 8. So, in the short run it may be the smartest thing to do - keep the scout program and appease the gay leaders who are and were ready to sue. Eventually, this will be a battle that no organized religion can ignore as the gay movement has no compassion for their own only their agenda to subvert and supplant organized religion. Too bad the boys will be lost in all of this.

  • Spider Rico Greeley, CO
    May 24, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    Tough issue accross the board. The BSA cannot be separated from religion because that is what it was formed on. If religion is taken out of it then it is no longer the BSA (Duty to God). To those that say everyone has done a 180 on this issue you are incorrect. When it first came to light the BSA was considering a change it was to allow homosexual leaders. That changed. The reason that changed is because the BSA realized this would be the end of support by 70% of its membership. The Church was not on board until the BSA removed the leaders from the mix then the Church made a statement of support. I will not withdraw my support at this time. However, if homosexual adults (meaning practicing) are allowed then I will as will a large group. There are various reasons but what it comes down to is my belief that it is morally wrong and against the will of God. And as I noted earlier, the BSA has always had religious ties and will cease to be the BSA if those ties are severed.

  • AlexD Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    @Justmythoughts - If you think there aren't *already* (and always have been) gay Scouts and/or gay Scout leaders in the BSA, you haven't been paying attention.

    Pretending that homosexuality doesn't exist is just silly. Of *course* gay Scout leaders should be allowed - and they should be required to adhere to the exact same principles of behavior as are currently expected of female Scout leaders.

    I really do not see the problem here. BSA protocol already stipulates that at least two Scout Leaders are present for camping trips and other similar events. Nothing has changed.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 24, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    @ MoJules - Florissant, MO "There are many gays in the church who are temple worthy, the church is taking the same kind of stand, live the standards and you are welcome to be part of the group."

    Hold on there.....

    You need to define what you mean by "gays".

    If you mean someone who has a homsexual desire but doesn't act on that desire, then yes, you are correct.

    If you mean someone who has a homsexual desire but DOES act on that desire then you are 100% incorrect; in THAT case there is no such thing as a "gay" Latter-day Saint who is "temple worthy".

    Nope. Never.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 24, 2013 9:52 a.m.

    "On the other hand, Gay Rights activists will push for homosexual adults to be accepted as leaders."

    In our troop, we have adult women leaders. They do not sleep in the same tent with scouts other then their own boys. Same with the male leaders.

    Couldn't one make the exact same argument against having heterosexual female leaders as having gay male adult leaders?

  • mare54 KIHEI, HI
    May 24, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    This is not news....nor is it any more of an acceptance of gays into the church.....the statement is purposely NOT taking a stand on this. It merely repeats that "behavior" is the driving factor in the inclusivity of the Boy Scouts, meaning that as long as a "gay" boy isn't having sexual relations with anyone, he is included. It in no way addresses homosexuality in the church since "behavior" is still the driving factor, NOT acceptance.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:29 a.m.

    While philosophically I agree with this decision, it spells the end of Scouting. Some religious groups will sithdraw their support. On the other hand, Gay Rights activists will push for homosexual adults to be accepted as leaders. This decision did give the LDS Church breathing space and time to develop their own youth programs. Scouting in Utah has a life expectancy of only a few years now.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    May 24, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    The boy scouts did the only thing they could do to stay relevant. They have finally realized you should not exclude young men because of the way they were born. It's gratifying to see that the youth are way ahead of the adults on this. I don't think it's a problem for kids (at least on the West Coast) to have gay scouts in scouting. Some of the comments here are darn right hilarious, "they" never go on scout camps without their fathers, "gender confusion" "homosexual behavior". Replace the word gay with "Negroes" and you feel like its the 60's all over again.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Remember the lawsuit a few years ago that went all the way to the Supreme Court? Seems like a waste of money now.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    It seems the moral divide has been properly bridged by both the BSA and the LDS Church. I commend both for their thoughtful decision and direction.

  • estreetshuffle Window Rock, AZ
    May 24, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Help! we need General Patton!

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    @ scodyshootfight KC, MO

    "...I look at my own ward's efforts in scouting. We have spent the past 4 months or so fundraising, planning fundraising, planning scout camp, planning high adventure, etc etc. We have put so much effort into it that we haven't used any mutual time for service, fellowshipping inactives, and working on Duty to God...and you begin to wonder if the benefit is worth the amazing amount of headaches and sacrifice. Good comes from scouting, but at what cost?"

    The cost is of advancement. Scouts have service projects quarterly if not monthly in order to advance in rank. The Scout Committee will not advance without service in each rank. So, if this is true, which I don't believe, your ward is not the norm.

    I'll bet your scouts are doing more service, fellowshipping, and worship than you give them credit.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 24, 2013 8:33 a.m.


    My point is that when this issue first surfaced, the outrage in this forum was palpable and widespread.

    There were many many comments with the general idea that "The Church will NEVER go along with this."

    The comment section on this article is far different from when the issue first came to the forefront.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    May 24, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    I read through all these comments and I don't come to the same conclusion as you. What I see is a church that is hoping that the implementation of this altered policy will allow said church to continue its same, long standing, policies and practices. I see a church that acknowledges that an independent organization made a thoughtful decision about its own policies in the context of a difficult and controversial social issue. I see some members of that church that are unhappy that said independent organization, which they have supported with time and treasure for years, did not heed their input and position on said issue and instead sided with a vocal minority that is pursuing an agenda that those same members of said church consider fundamentally immoral. Those same members will apparently be less supportive, to varying degrees, of said independent organization.
    The take away message here is that some people stand up of what they believe while allowing others to believe and act differently. Conversely, some people try and force there beliefs on others. Look carefully at who is being tolerant and who isn't on this issue. Tolerance doesn't equal embracing and supporting.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    May 24, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Here's the problem with gay boy scouts. The teen years are filled with turmoil and confusion. There really is no such thing as a gay teen. It is "arrested deelopment" in one form or another. The end result may be gay but teens are finding out who they are. The moral authority of religion has always been an anchor in which to guide moral development. This is the mystery of God. Now that man and woman have decided to "take the role of God" and redefine moral behavior, you have problems. The "new normal" is actually a detioration of the "old normal". Acceptance of a "twisted reality" is the same as accepting the "twisted cross" of the 40s. NPR has stated within the last week that homeless teens are 40-60% gay. They are not gay but engaging in gay behavior which is aided and abetted by interference from adults who interfere with the emotional development of someone who is vulnerable. In the same situation, girls turn to prostitution. Obviously, the next step from an intrusive government is to force churches to accept gay principles which are against their precepts and to be persecuted if they don't.

  • mightyhunterhaha Kaysville, UT
    May 24, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    It will be interesting to see how the following is handled: Gay young man going on a campout with the scouts. How will they accommodate sleeping arrangements? They don't allow boys and girls to share tents. I agree that this will be the begginning of the end. The LGBT will push and push until they destroy a great program.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    May 24, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    This s the exact right decision. kudos to the LDS church and others for getting this right.

  • downtown424 CHICAGO, IL
    May 24, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    Wait, so if a 17 year old boy has sex with his high school girlfriend, are we going to start kicking them out of the Boy Scouts? I don't remember needing to pass a Temple Recommend interview to get my Eagle Scout award.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    May 24, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Bottom line:

    Right or wrong, Friends of Scouting will get fewer donations.

    This won't impact LDS troops as much as it will non-LDS troops, because FOS subsidizes the non-LDS troops. The LDS Church budgets for BSA activities.

    I predict that a higher percentage of my non-LDS (Baptist, Methodist) southern neighbors will withhold financial support for the BSA, and there will soon be a financial crisis.

    Will the LGBT community press the United Way to re-fund scouting? Nope.
    Will the LGBT community all of a sudden start donating to FOS? Nope.
    After all, the BSA still "discriminates" against gay leaders....

    Purely financially, the BSA will become irrelevant and unsustainable, will fade like the GSA. Facilities will not be kept up, property will have to be sold, administrators will be laid off, scout stores will close.

    Get used to ordering your merit badge patches over the internet.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    May 24, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    The LDS Church has the right to follow their concience on this issue and I will support their right to do so. I must add that I believe that political correctness is one of the things that is wrong with the Country and this is a move of political correctness both by BSA and the LDS Church.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    May 24, 2013 6:24 a.m.

    The LDS church puts the wellfare of the boys above any political movements. I'm certain they look at this change as an opportunity to minister to some of the least in our society. This is about the boys.

    The majority of homeless youth identify as being gay. Some are expelled from their homes for "coming out", while others crave the drama of being different until it escalates to very unsafe lifestyle choices and personal exploitation.

    Scouting can be a safe environment to encourage young men to discipline their actions and curb their urges, and turn their hearts away from a focus on selfish self-destructive identities and seek a life of service and building the communities in which they live.

    Most mature adults should readily see this as an opportunity for outreach and not despise these youth who are--for the most part--being swept away by social pressures that until now they never had means to cope with... Scouting provides a way to cope.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    May 24, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    @ county mom,
    Take your kids out of scouting and enjoy the family on your own.
    Your attitude towards all this will create all kinds of problems within the family over the next number of years. You'd be surprised.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    May 24, 2013 4:36 a.m.

    I applaud the common sense stance by the LDS church.

    What I find amusing is the comments. Several months ago, the comment section was full of contempt for the BSA for even considering such a change.

    Now, most comments appear to support the change and suggest that their were in favor of it all along.

    Nothing like a public church position to get people in line.

  • Aggie84 Idaho Falls, ID
    May 24, 2013 3:52 a.m.

    As a missionary in the late 70's we gave a discussion on the law of chastity. We taught that no one was to have any intimate physical relations with no one except our own husband and wife. I am confused on how that law can change to meet the new norms of society.
    My suggestion is to have the LDS church start their own scouting program and combine it with the Duty to God and any other programs already established by the church.
    I earned my eagle scout award many years ago. I was proud of that accomplishment and what it stood for. I will no longer contribute to the FOS or volunteer any more time with this program!

  • jr85 United Kingdom , 00
    May 24, 2013 2:36 a.m.

    I really look forward to the day where fear isn't smeared across our lives with ignorant comments. I really am amazed that supposed 'Christians' are constantly in the business of treating people who are not like them like second class citizens. This judgmental attitude is exactly what our savior denounced and showed accepting of all people whether they were homeless, his enemies or prostitutes. This is what happens when a culture selectively cuts and pastes scripture for their own agenda and not give any context to phrases and stories of where they come from.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    May 24, 2013 2:13 a.m.

    The Savior showed great love and understanding to every person. He taught the poor, the rich, the outcast and the sinners. Would he have abandoned a young man struggling with same-sex-attraction? "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another" John 13:34

  • Dcsouth Mesa, AZ
    May 24, 2013 1:49 a.m.

    For any church critic ready to herald this as change, let's examine the church's response. Gay oriented youth can join, but only if they agree to the same behavioral standards set for all youth. This means that despite defining themselves as gay, they can't have any sexual relationships, nor would they be able to date anyone of the same sex as that would violate the rules on dating and chastity. Participating in a homosexual relationship, sexual or not still violates the standards of the church. They don't have to be members of our church to join scouting, but they have to act like a heterosexual youth for all intents and purposes and even harder is that they can't date based on their orientation. Not a problem for most 11-13 yr olds, but a bigger problem for high school age boys.

  • BlueSouth MC KINNEY, TX
    May 24, 2013 12:21 a.m.

    I wouldn't want my teenage boys camping with girls, so why would I want them to camp with boys who have the same sexual orientation as girls? So do we allow girls to join as long as they don't have sexual relations with the boys or each other? This is a slippery slope and bad policy.

    May 23, 2013 11:18 p.m.

    Sorry Charlie!: You wrote: "Faithful members of the LDS Church will not be affected by this policy since the LDS Leadership has expressed its continuing support of the Boy Scouts and their acceptance of this policy."

    I believe your assumption that a person isn't a faithful member of the LDS Church if they choose to discontinue financial support of scouting is offensive and judgmental. For some of us, the decision by the national scouting leaders with regard to admitting gay members is just the last straw in our belief that scouting isn't the best way to teach all boys the values of life and/or provide a social opportunity for them. I don't recall any question in any interview with a priesthood leader that asks if I support the scouting program. I conclude that means it isn't all that important to being a faithful member.

  • Nosea Forest Grove, OR
    May 23, 2013 10:28 p.m.

    I will restrict activity in scouting as much as practicable for my 3 boys in scouting now, and the 2 following them. There certainly will be no more actively supporting the BSA in our family. I strongly disagree with this compromise with a vocally and very wrong minority group of people trying to push their agenda on all the rest of us. Conciliatory words to the public do little to change the high moral ground that was sacrificed in this compromise.

  • Rick2009 MESA, AZ
    May 23, 2013 10:15 p.m.

    I have not read all of the comments but I hope that our scout leaders will enforce the moral laws of scouting in both cases of heterosexual and homosexual misconduct if it occurs. No more looking away for either situation. If a boy can not maintain the strict moral code in scouting, meaning no sexual activity, they should not advance in rank, including getting their Eagle.

  • scodyshootfight KC, MO
    May 23, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    I agree that no youth should be denied the benefits of scouting based on sexual orientation. But since so much of scouting is outdoors and on overnight activities, I also don't know if we should feel obligated to have our kids go on these overnight activities away from home if they are going to be with kids who have same gender attraction.

    Also, I look at my own ward's efforts in scouting. We have spent the past 4 months or so fundraising, planning fundraising, planning scout camp, planning high adventure, etc etc. We have put so much effort into it that we haven't used any mutual time for service, fellowshipping inactives, and working on Duty to God. Combine that with the fact that EVERY week in June is devoted to scout camps for all ages and you begin to wonder if the benefit is worth the amazing amount of headaches and sacrifice. Good comes from scouting, but at what cost? Could we do better? And do we need to require so much of a time commitment from leaders who have their own families and who would like to have their own summer vacations with their kids?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:38 p.m.

    I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and my position has been agreeable to the teachings of my faith on this issue from day one. Perhaps those who believe all the members of the church are the same. I don't believe it. In fact, I know it aint so. I attend church and see diversity of political persuasions fairly often.

    I have some opinions which are more conservative and some which aren't. I'll tell you what I do believe, that those complaining about members of the church on this forum are attempting to distract from a meaningful discussion and nothing more or less.


    As an LDS scout, we used LDS Church facilities. They were used as facilities only; we didn't talk religion in scouts and there were non-LDS scouts. Someone volunteered a prayer for safety before scout camps, and some didn't participate in them. No sermons were given.

    The BSA has many LDS scouts, which has formed a historical relationship of respect between the LDS Church and BSA, nothing more. The LDS Church has well-known positions on homosexuality.

    It isn't about religion, but organizations.

  • jntswally Kaysville, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:10 p.m.

    Thinking of my parents tonight, and of the decades they gave to Scouting. Even though I'm not surprised by the outcome of the BSA's vote today, I am sad.

    I'm not a homophobe or gay-basher. I'm not even worried about awkward situations at Scout camp- that's pretty far-fetched.

    Just please don't even THINK about comparing this to being allowed to drink from the same drinking fountain, sit at the same lunch counter, or at the front of the bus. This is about forcing a nonprofit organization to recreate itself to the liking of a vocal special-interest group.

    I'm sorry for the Executive Scout committee at the national level. I'm sure they are weary of the badgering, haranguing, and years of the BSA being in the cross-hairs. Well, that might have eased up a little with this decision, but it's definitely not a victory for the BSA.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:05 p.m.

    The scriptures say little children are holy and sanctified through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Elder Bednar teaches that the atonement has enabling powers. Perhaps there is healing power through the atonement for gender confusion as well. Thank goodness for a loving Father in Heaven who wants what is best for each of His children, regardless of current circumstances.

  • jonjon Cedar Hills, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:02 p.m.

    So no sexual relations for the kids, doesn't matter if it's with a boy or girl. This vote didn't change moral standings that the scouts have always had.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    May 23, 2013 8:42 p.m.

    Now that the door has been opened.... How long until the first law suit for leaders? The BSA showed no spine... I think we are seeing the end of Boy Scouts....what parent wants to subject their boys to this and how will a leader ever feel comfortable "volunteering" to put himself in that situation? Boy Scout leaders are being asked to put themselves in a bad situation. If they think the gay community will be happy with this change, they must be dreaming. It will only embolden them more and before we know it BSA will no longer exist. It will go down in flames like the rest of society.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    May 23, 2013 8:04 p.m.

    It's that Duty to God thing, the oath that a Scout takes and tries to make God a part of his life. Religion, whatever a Scouts religion, is a big part of the values of Scouting. They are inseparable. Duty to God, Duty to Country, Duty to self.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    May 23, 2013 7:17 p.m.

    Re: ". . . there were many commenters saying the Church would drop the BSA if they ever allowed this . . . ."

    The new rule requires no immediate change to current Church policy or practice. That doesn't mean the Church won't eventually be forced to drop Scouting. Or make changes to current practices to protect LDS scouts.

    The new rule will require LDS troops to accelerate the current trend, participating less and less in national and regional functions, in favor of more single-troop activities, in non-BSA facilities, and Young Men activities.

    The activists are far from finished, in pushing their agenda.

    The not-too-distant future will see more pressure to require "nondiscrimination" policies, regarding both boys and leaders. National Council will someday knuckle under, adopting polices we can't accept.

    But, no worries. As Boy Scouting follows Girl Scouts into irrelevance, there'll be a Church program ready to replace it.

    LGBT activists will ensure it's just a matter of time. The more, the better, of course.

    It'll give us opportunity for a more orderly transition to the new program.

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    May 23, 2013 7:12 p.m.

    There are many gays in the church who are temple worthy, the church is taking the same kind of stand, live the standards and you are welcome to be part of the group.

  • MarkA Logan, UT
    May 23, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    I applaud BSA's decision. I still don't understand what scouting has to do with religion. I wish we could keep them separate.

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    May 23, 2013 7:05 p.m.

    Thank you LDS Church for your inclusive stance on all Boy Scouts. You have shown us what the Savior meant when He said "suffer the children to come unto me." He did not place any restrictions on which children. All young men need the skills and leadership the Boy Scouts provide. Those that struggle with homosexuality need good role models in a moral environment to help them escape vulnerability and predators. Thank you LDS leaders for demonstrating Choosing the Right.

  • Sorry Charlie! SLC, UT
    May 23, 2013 6:50 p.m.

    @ IMAPatriot2: As you follow the lead of your church, it is your right to choose not to continue to contribute to Scouting. Faithful members of the LDS Church will not be affected by this policy since the LDS Leadership has expressed its continuing support of the Boy Scouts and their acceptance of this policy.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    May 23, 2013 6:42 p.m.

    Let the right-wingers throw their tantrums. The rest of society is moving forward.

    May 23, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    Guess where my $$$ won't be going? That should save me a few bucks each year when they come for the Sustaining Membership drive.

  • Incite Full Layton, UT
    May 23, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    I have nothing to apologize for... cuz my position has been the same as the church's from the beginning... and I honestly don't think that this position is too difficult to reach for those paying attention as a member in the church.

  • Luke Nelson West Valley City, UT
    May 23, 2013 6:21 p.m.

    @Obama10 The church hasn't been "softening" in its approach to same-sex issues. Things are the same as they were. The media at large has exaggerated things.

  • GeoMan SALEM, OR
    May 23, 2013 6:12 p.m.

    I hope that you don't really think you can accurately assess the "progressiveness" of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints based on a handful of comments on the Deseret News website. If you do, perhaps you need a good dose of "progressiveness" yourself.
    From the Church's standpoint, this was always a side-show because the Church is opposed to any, and all, sexual activity outside of marriage. Whether or not that is "progressive" is a matter of opinion, I suppose. The fact that homosexual behavior is one of many ways to violate the Law of Chastity remains unchanged in all of this.

  • JPDevuyst Laie, HI
    May 23, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    Agree with bw00ds - there is nothing new here.

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 5:28 p.m.

    This enlightened statement must disappoint the critics of the LDS church.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    May 23, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    @Mukkake I don't know about the past comments here because I haven't read them, but I disagree with your use of the term "progressive leadership." I think "inspired leadership" is more appropriate. As the official statement states, there is nothing new here and nothing that has change or will change the church's implementation of church policy.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    May 23, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Funny, when this subject was first mentioned a few months ago, there were many commenters saying the Church would drop the BSA if they ever allowed this, and they would never donate to FOS again. I warned them at the time, that the church is softening its approach to "gay" issues and that the Church would not drop the BSA. Where are those posters now?

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    May 23, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    This will not change what we do.
    They never go on scout camps without their father.
    They never share a tent.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Ah, so much for all the comments on here the last few months that insisted the LDS Church would quit the BSA if the policy change was made.

    Glad to know the leadership is more progressive than the membership. Good thing the tail doesn't wag the dog.

    Commence apologia.