Religious groups react to Boy Scouts’ vote to drop ban on gay leaders

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  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2015 12:38 p.m.

    @Tilee
    "The first year my oldest son went to scout camp in Texas he had a merit badge counselor who was openly gay and flaunting it. My son came home completely disgusted by the experience and never wanted to go to camp again. Now this will be considered a condoned and acceptable practice by leaders in the BSA. How scary is that!!!

    The bottom line is that for a young man who does not have problems with homosexuality "

    Interesting what is considered a "problem with homosexuality". I think your story did include a young man with a problem with homosexuality, it just wasn't the one you thought it was.

  • Reuben Dunn Whittier, CA
    July 31, 2015 9:16 a.m.

    Two thoughts spring to mind:

    1. The press release of the church stated that: "As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available.." Having lived in the U.K from 1989-2008 I can say that the absence of any sort of scouting program did not have any impact on the Young Mens organization. My son did not miss out; he served a honorable mission, married in the temple, etc. The church more than adequately fulfilled the needs of the Young Men, not only in the U.K., but also in other parts of the world where scouting doesn't exist.
    2. While the standards of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints won't be directly impeded, the church still determines whom they will allow to be leaders, there is the serious threat of the church being taken to court. Should that happen, the National Council of the BSA will wash their hands of it, leaving, not only the LDS Church, but other faith based groups out to dry.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    July 30, 2015 12:33 p.m.

    "but we will have no control over who is hired to run the camps, merit badge workshops, jamborees, day camps, etc."

    Thank you for your honesty.

    It really is about "control", then.

  • TheTrueVoice West Richland, WA
    July 30, 2015 12:24 p.m.

    "The LDS Church does not force it's views on you or anyone."

    Seriously...?

    Do you contend that the Church's direct, negative interference with Prop 8, the massive money they poured into negative campaigning, all of that never really happened?

    Do you contend that the LDS church had no impact on passing Amendment 3 over a decade ago?

  • Blake19868976 Seattle, WA
    July 30, 2015 11:45 a.m.

    @Jimbo Low

    "The organization is getting further from the Mormons and closer to the Unitarians"

    Sounds to me like they're on the right path, then. Unitarian services are about the warmest and most inviting meetings I have ever been to.

  • Jimbo Low PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    July 30, 2015 11:10 a.m.

    The organization is getting further from the Mormons and closer to the Unitarians--I think it is clear the direction they are going; further from God and closer to the world.

  • Contrariusester mid-state, TN
    July 30, 2015 10:07 a.m.

    @worf --

    "Churches are not leaving the Boy Scouts."

    Well, you're pretty much right about that.

    Both the United Methodists and the Roman Catholics, the two largest faith-based BSA groups aside from the LDS, have already announced that they're staying. And other groups that had left because of BSA's discrimination, like the Reformed Jews and the Unitarian Universalists, are rejoining.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 30, 2015 9:58 a.m.

    Churches are not leaving the Boy Scouts.

    The Boy Scouts are leaving the churches.

  • mauister Wailuku, HI
    July 30, 2015 1:36 a.m.

    I feel like taking my Eagle Scout badge out of the box (once I find the box) that I put it in years ago and find out how I can now give back to Scouting what I had promised years ago. Thanks BSA! I'm sure glad I didn't mail my Eagle Scout badge back to BSA headquarters a few years ago when I was tempted. A lot of youth could benefit by the moral compass offered by the BSA. The Mormons should move away from the organization with caution, as both still have a lot to offer each other.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    July 29, 2015 5:01 p.m.

    @Tilee --

    "The bottom line is that for a young man who does not have problems with homosexuality - having a homosexual male make advances at you is scary and loathsome!"

    And why do you believe gay leaders would be doing any such thing? Have the straight female BSA leaders been propositioning scouts? Have the straight male GSA leaders been abusing girls? Have the lesbian female GSA leaders been making improper advances?

    What leads you to believe that this would be a problem, when the other pairings have been allowed for years?

  • Tilee Tyler, TX
    July 29, 2015 4:49 p.m.

    Several readers have stated that they do not understand the problem since the church can choose it's own leaders. That is true only for the leaders directly over our weekly scouting activities, but we will have no control over who is hired to run the camps, merit badge workshops, jamborees, day camps, etc. While that might not be as great an issue here in Utah, we have experienced the problem already in TX. The first year my oldest son went to scout camp in Texas he had a merit badge counselor who was openly gay and flaunting it. My son came home completely disgusted by the experience and never wanted to go to camp again. Now this will be considered a condoned and acceptable practice by leaders in the BSA. How scary is that!!!

    The bottom line is that for a young man who does not have problems with homosexuality - having a homosexual male make advances at you is scary and loathsome! Sending our boys to activities where they could be left under the sole leadership of gay men is not something I will subject my sons to.

  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    July 29, 2015 4:45 p.m.

    @Uteofferouus --

    "If we use the comments on this board as a gauge, it is appears that there is precious litte tolerance or understanding shown by the LGBT community toward conservatives of faith."

    Tolerance and understanding start when second-class citizenship stops.

    In more than half of all US states, LGBTs can still be fired, thrown out of their homes, or denied services just for being LGBT.

    You can start talking about tolerance and understanding when that is no longer true.

    "I think it would be more honest for them just to fess up that their definition of morality is different than ours"

    Of course it is. The morality of LGBTs and LGBT supporters emphasizes love and equality.

    "but that they can respect and understand our beliefs and simply agree to disagree with civility and move on."

    There is no true civility on your part when your side continues to deny full citizenship to LGBTs.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    July 29, 2015 4:38 p.m.

    @Mike Richards --

    "Men are not leaders of girl scout troops for a reason."

    Actually, straight men have been leaders of girl scout troops for years. So have lesbian women.

    And straight women have been leaders of boy scout troops for years.

    What makes you believe otherwise, Mike?

    @joanzone42 --

    "putting young boys under the authority and care of male leaders who are attracted to other males is irresponsible"

    See my comments to Mike above. Why is having gay male BSA leaders irresponsible, when straight female BSA leaders are not? When straight male and lesbian female GSA leaders are not? Why is only one of these pairings irresponsible, when the others have already worked for years?

  • kranny utah, UT
    July 29, 2015 4:36 p.m.

    Years ago, I had to deal with the attorney general's office re: a pedophilia case. The Assistant AG wouldn't let his boys participate in the BSA due to the stacks of pedophile files he was dealing with in Utah. Morally, what's the difference between enacted pedophilia and enacted same gender attraction? You say, "Age, consent." But, I think it goes further than that. I would add, "Moral relativism." When will pedophiles be accepted by the BSA? Are we heading that direction?
    United under God's laws, i.e. the Ten Commandments, we stand; divided we fall.

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 3:39 p.m.

    @Libertal Ted:

    Thanks for your comments, you hit the bulls eye!

    If we use the comments on this board as a gauge, it is appears that there is precious litte tolerance or understanding shown by the LGBT community toward conservatives of faith. I am baffled as to how the LGBT folks exptect us conservatives to be more open minded toward their concerns and life styles when they throw our concerns, rights and beliefs under the bus?

    I think it would be more honest for them just to fess up that their definition of morality is different than ours but that they can respect and understand our beliefs and simply agree to disagree with civility and move on.

    All of the LGBT group's emphasis on law suits, forcing conservatives out of their jobs and other social affronts are doing nothing to elevate their cause in our conservative Christian eyes.

    Despite the LGBT malfeasance of citizenship, we conservatives of faith should strive to be forgiving and civil in our approach to these folks while standing up for our religious faith and first amendment liberties. LGBT folks have rights and responsibilities too and we should recognize that.

  • kranny utah, UT
    July 29, 2015 3:23 p.m.

    I wonder what the new scout oath will be now? Any guesses?

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 3:20 p.m.

    BOY SCOUT OATH

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight

    Pretty much says it all. I imagine the scouts will eventually remove "duty to God" and "morally straight" from the oath to fit with their new direction. Time to pull out before it gets to that point!

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 2:58 p.m.

    Even more interesting is that fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BSA being able to discriminate based on gender, just a few years ago. A private organization has the right to determine the requirements and eligibility of people that want to join.

    The fact is Gates sold out the BSA. He's a by product of the Obummer/Biden Big Mouth liberal agenda. He simply sold out the BSA.

    Either way, out of the ashes of the BSA will come a bigger and better and stronger organization to teach our youth. One that is inclusive and won't discriminate based on religious beliefs. Something the LGBTQ community needs to learn. They love to cry victim, but, while yielding the hatchet to other people's opinions and beliefs.

    We were lectured same sex marriage is not a slippery slope. Yet here we are. Slip sliding away. So much for building bridges.

  • joanzone42 Orem, Utah
    July 29, 2015 2:37 p.m.

    My family has Eagle Scouts and I have always been a supporter of the BSA, including the policy of non-discrimination for young men who identify as gay. But, putting young boys under the authority and care of male leaders who are attracted to other males is irresponsible and inevitable (e.g. at Jamboree) and the promise to allow local units to decide is a farce and will not last. There WILL be lawsuits and various pressures, which will eventually bury those who try, naively, to make a deal with the devil. Better for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to cut loses now and launch a wonderful, worthwhile program for young men. It is a sad, but necessary step.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    July 29, 2015 1:48 p.m.

    @dmcvey

    Except that when a church quits the BSA, a noteworthy change in the status quo happens for many people. When whomever you are referring to as "we" criticizes that church, nothing happens, nor should it. Yes, it is pretty simple. Let's keep it that way.

  • Contrariuses mid-state, TN
    July 29, 2015 1:46 p.m.

    @SlickMick --

    "Gay marriage was never the law of the land anywhere. Ever."

    This is a common, but false, misconception. In reality, same-sex behaviors and bonding have been accepted in various forms throughout history and across the globe.

    --SS unions were recognized in Mesopotamian legal records.

    --Assyrian religious texts included blessings for SS unions equal to OS.

    --SS bonding was encouraged in ancient Greece.

    --SS unions were recognized in Egypt; we even have a well-preserved tomb with specific depictions of a SS couple united for eternity.

    --SS behaviors and bonding were widespread in the Roman Empire. SS marriages were well known since before 600 BC, and weren't made illegal until 342 AD.

    --SS unions were recognized in parts of China, including legal contracts and elaborate ceremonies.

    --SS behaviors and bonding were honored in Japan, especially amongst Buddhist monks and samurai.

    --legal SS unions in medieval France were created through "affrement" contracts.

    --SS unions were widely recognized in Native American societies; a "third gender" (men who took women's roles) was not only recognized but honored. Homosexual behaviors were so widespread in the Americas that the Conquistadors would brag about how many "Sodomites" they could kill in a day.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 1:08 p.m.

    I am a heterosexual male. I can tell you that those of my makeup admire the female form continually. Yet, most of us could be leaders in female membership organizations. Why? Because we understand limits and propriety. The same is true of most homosexual men with reference to the Boy Scouts. Of course strict rules must be in force.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    July 29, 2015 1:03 p.m.

    The BSA used to be a tremendous organization that fit in line with the LDS Church's emphasis on a "Duty to God" and teaching boys to up hold that duty through a strong moral character. There change in policy abandons that concept. I don't know what my LDS leaders will do but if we do leave the BSA because they are not aligned with our values I will support them 100%. It is sad when a great organization succumbs to peer pressure and abandons its core principles just to satisfy those in society who want to follow a different path.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 12:40 p.m.

    @worf "A male finding another male sexually attractive,- can now be a leader of boys? What?"

    I guess you would kick the founder, Robert Baden-Powell - out of the scouts. Shame on you!

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    July 29, 2015 12:34 p.m.

    I think the thing that makes me scratch my head the most about the larger issue of gay rights is all the accusations of discrimination hurled by so many gay marriage supporters towards non-proponents. I get it that some people are gay and want no obstacles in enjoying whatever benefit hetero married couples enjoy. I understand. If I were gay, I'd probably want the same thing.

    But all the diatribe against non-proponents of gay marriage? The accusations? The bigotry? Seriously! People, gay marriage is a really big change from the status quo. And the status quo has existed from forever. Gay marriage was never the law of the land anywhere. Ever. Mandating women's rights has historical precedent. People have been naturally free over history so there is precedent against slavery. Same for religion.

    But gay marriage is new, without precedent. So why are non-proponents called names and bullied by proponents? People need to chill a bit. If this is what society wants, then there you go. But enough acting like it's some right that's ever existed before.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 29, 2015 12:22 p.m.

    I am pleased that the Boy Scouts has taken this courageous step that attempts to balance concerns for greater inclusion with respect for religious beliefs. If the new policy is more than the Church leadership can abide, then the LDS Church is free to severe ties and go its own way as it always has.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    July 29, 2015 12:21 p.m.

    @Cats
    I have been saying for the past couple of years we are seeing a separation of the sheep and goats in the world and more specifically the church. From women in the priesthood, to rainbow flags on FB profiles, now BSA.

    @PhineasGauge
    You underestimate the financial department of the LDS church. If they withdraws from BSA, there will be less financial costs assumed by individual members. Friends of Scouting and annual fees is an imposition of BSA, not the church. I doubt there will be expensive uniforms and a plethora of badges associated with a more streamlined YM activity program. Any new program such as this instigated by the church will be funded through the tithing system already in place. 10% will still be 10%.

    "...you should also have a problem with a male coaching any female sports team... or any other mixed gender supervisory role."

    Apples and oranges - BSA takes kids away from parents for days at a time into the wilderness. Any male coach who packed up his female basketball team for an over nighter in the secluded woods would be extremely suspect IMO. That's a team my daughter would not play for.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    July 29, 2015 11:57 a.m.

    "And no church will be required to accept any volunteer as a Scout leader simply because of the new policy."

    Yeah, how long do you think that will last?

  • Clark D Houston, TX
    July 29, 2015 11:56 a.m.

    For many years the homosexuals have attempted to influence others and who is more vulnerable than our youth today? Those that believe it is nt a threat apparently are blinded by their own desire to encourage this life style or they have just been influenced by so much publicity and not willing to resist this issue. It makes no sense what so ever.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 29, 2015 11:34 a.m.

    After reading these posts and posts on similar threads, I can see that it is time for every Church to cut the ties with the BSA. Men are not leaders of girl scout troops for a reason. When men who have sexual feelings for other males are allowed to lead boys, those boys are in just as much danger as having hetralsexual males as a girl scout leaders. Their intentions may be good, but society is wise enough to protect those girls by removing even the possibility of misconduct. Unfortunately, it looks like boys are a different case.

    No matter how much homosexual scout leaders protest to the contrary, I would never allow my sons or grandsons to go anywhere with them for any reason, inside scouting or outside scouting. I don't know anyone who would put his son or grandson in a position where that boy could be exposed, in any way, to homosexual ideas or actions.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 29, 2015 11:18 a.m.

    The newly announced policy allowing a religious group sponsoring a scout troop to choose its adult leaders whose beliefs are in line with church teachings is a quite reasonable accommodation the Boy Scouts are making. The Reform Judaism group and the Unitarian Universalist Association appear to feel that way too.

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    July 29, 2015 11:12 a.m.

    Boy Scouts was always a religious organization from back in Baden Powell's days. Why do you think Baden Powell placed so much emphasis on God? BSA has moved from those beginnings to become a much more secular institution while retaining a certain lip service to God. BSA and the LDS Church have led a mutually beneficial existence for over 100 years, but perhaps BSA has outlived its usefulness to the LDS Church.

    The LDS have a pretty good handle on what they need as well as the critical mass to make it happen. You do realize that the BSA Varsity Scout program is basically a creation of an LDS member in SLC back in the 70s. There is plenty of talent within the Church to be able to tailor something to the needs of the youth. I think the real issue for the Church if they ditch BSA is that there will be some small subset of boys who then will quit coming to Mutual night and instead attend BSA meetings with other troops. Difficult decisions indeed.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    July 29, 2015 10:54 a.m.

    Really???, I don't understand what is militant about wanting to be able to participate in Boy Scouts. I think it's kind of militant to go to the Supreme Court in order to be able to discriminate against people you don't like based, not on their actions, but on your opinion of those people.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    July 29, 2015 10:51 a.m.

    McCarthyist, The church has the right to quit the BSA, we have the right to criticize the church for it. It's really pretty simple isn't it?

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    July 29, 2015 10:47 a.m.

    Mesa Coug, no one has said the church should be FORCED to continue their association with the Boy Scouts. Where did you get that idea?

  • SlickMick Ashburn, VA
    July 29, 2015 10:41 a.m.

    @tennerifa

    No need to be like that. Your attitude is worse than the one you complain about. People can disagree with BSA. They don't need the self-righteous to try to make it worse or condemn them for disagreeing. You know, we have a situation where the status quo has been changed, and some people don't like that.

    Which one is worse...to complain because the status quo has changed or to complain because others aren't willing to change their long-held beliefs to a new normal? If anything, anyone with decency would give some slack to those who are being asked to change from what they have been accustomed to for their whole lives instead of being so judgmental and nasty.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    July 29, 2015 10:40 a.m.

    Really only 2 reasons why a gay adult male would want to be a scout "leader". Those of us who don't lie to ourselves and the rest of society know why that is. My neighborhood, along with most all of you, has a registered sex offender, (pedophile) living in it. Claims he was born that way. When are the scouts and the rest of society going to start forcing his "civil rights" onto the rest of us?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 29, 2015 10:38 a.m.

    "Sad because many of us have sought to find ways to peacefully and productively work to improve relationships with the gay community. Personally, I am having to re-think my stance toward gays because (at least the supporters who comment here) appear to be so militant and uncompromising in their views that it is not clear if they can act in good faith with conservative citizens?"

    Perhaps you have tried to be respectful, and I thank you for that. You do realize, however, that nobody--whether gay, straight, black, white, or freckled--should have to wait for the conservative citizens' approval to have the same opportunities as anyone else in this great nation. Any attempts to exclude people based on a single trait will likely be challenged by those you are trying to exclude.

    Quite frankly, it's not your place to decide what I can or cannot do.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    July 29, 2015 10:29 a.m.

    One who has had his son abused by a gay person -- I say leave the BSA -- you don't have to give up your principles to appease a few individuals who insist on you conforming to their low standard. This is only the beginning of concession that will be demanded -- Just like the same sex marriage issue.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 10:10 a.m.

    I look back to my days in boy scouts and I never would have guessed that I would feel the way I do now. Being gay, I find it extremely offensive the way others treat us! I wonder if I would put so much trust in Mormon leaders if I knew what was going to happen to me later on Of course, it really doesn't matter much what a gay person thinks or feels about it, does it? Some people are expendable and that is how we are treated as far as many religions go. People spite themselves to maintain their hatred and their self righteous attitude towards others. More power to you.

  • McCarthyist Sacramento, CA
    July 29, 2015 9:20 a.m.

    Many are going to whine about religions ash-canning their involvement with the BSA, over core tenets that the whiners don't understand and don't like, but that's just too bad. If you are not a staunch adherent of that religion, then their actions are none of your business, so quit trying to weigh in. If you are a staunch adherent, then you're simply out of line. It's really pretty simple, isn't it?

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    July 29, 2015 9:04 a.m.

    Religious groups messed up the boy scouts by turning them into a discriminatory organization and now they want to abandon it. These groups destroyed a great institution. I hope BSA comes out of this better than ever.

  • illuminated St George, UT
    July 29, 2015 8:58 a.m.

    "There is no religious 'side' of the movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God." Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts.

    This is now the Boy Scouts of America in name only. It has completely abandoned what it was based on in the first place. There is no excuse, or argument to say otherwise. The LDS Church should be done with this program yesterday or they too are supporting an organization in direct contradiction to its own teachings.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 29, 2015 8:50 a.m.

    The BSA has betrayed the boys. At every meeting, the scouts raise their arms to the square and repeat the following oath:

    "On my honor, I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."

    They swear to do their duty to God by keeping themselves morally straight. The BSA has made it difficult for the scouts to honor God and to keep themselves morally straight when it has approved allowing adult leaders who not only have abandoned that oath but who threaten to sue the BSA if the BSA won't allow them to "lead" boys. No clear thinking religious organization would continue to associate with the BSA.

  • sunderland56 Moab, UT
    July 29, 2015 8:41 a.m.

    There have been gay Scout leaders for years, since the days of Baden Powell. The only difference now is that the gay leaders don't need to lie about it.

    If the Mormon church starts their own boys group, the same thing will happen - there will be closeted gay leaders, forced to lie about their true identity. Why is that a better situation?

  • oldcougfan North Ogden, UT
    July 29, 2015 7:41 a.m.

    It does not matter if religious organizations can choose their own leaders. What happens when they go to scout camp and their are other gay leaders there?

  • Utahutesthroughandthrough_1 Murray, UT
    July 29, 2015 7:26 a.m.

    @Misty Mountain

    The bishop should never be on the office with the door closed and a female with him. If that were to happen that is against the church handbook. If the bishop is interview someone of the opposite sex either he has to have one of his counselors sitting outside the door or his wife sitting outside the door. That is church policy.

  • Utahutesthroughandthrough_1 Murray, UT
    July 29, 2015 7:23 a.m.

    Well I do think in the near future the LDS church will back out from under the BSA flag and take with them the 2 million plus dollars that they donate to the BSA every year.

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    July 29, 2015 7:06 a.m.

    Here is what the gay lobby says about the idea that chartered organizations can exclude gay adult leaders: "Stuart Upton, a lawyer for the LGBT-rights group Lambda Legal, questioned whether the BSA's new policy to let church-sponsored units continue to exclude gay adults would be sustainable. "There will be a period of time where they'll have some legal protection," Upton said. "But that doesn't mean the lawsuits won't keep coming. ... They will become increasingly marginalized from the direction society is going." -Deseret News, July 27. It's not going to stop. The Church needs to stop playing the game and withdraw.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2015 5:59 a.m.

    “No church will be required to accept any volunteer as a Scout leader simply because of the new policy,” Hanke said.

    This is a bunch of bull. That was also said when they argued in favor of same sex marriage. They claimed it wouldn't affect anyone or take away from their religious liberty. Now you can be sued if you don't take pictures, make cakes or if you're a clerk and refuse to marry or participate in same sex marriage. The same with the attacks on the officer here that asked for a different assignment, from leading a gay pride parade to doing something else based on religious beliefs. Same thing in other countries. If you're religious your rights are being trampled on by those that believe differently.

    So let's get rid of the myth that gay marriage is just two loving people and that's it. It's gay agenda with the full weight of the government, being forced down your throat no matter what you're rights used to be and protect you from it.

  • PhineasGauge Woodbury, MN
    July 29, 2015 12:29 a.m.

    Worf, if you have a problem with that you have should also have a problem with a male coaching any female sports team, a female being a den mother or any other mixed gender supervisory role. That is unless your opinion only extends to certain groups.

  • Doctrinal truth Cedar Hills, UT
    July 29, 2015 12:15 a.m.

    Scouting was a great past-time....it may be going away for LDS youth; pity! I am sure if the gay lobby weren't so determined to sue their way to their ends this wouldn't even be an issue.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 28, 2015 11:33 p.m.

    re:Ranch

    I suspect there will be 0% of Mormons who stay with BSA and don't embrace the new global young mens organization. Just saying....

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 28, 2015 11:15 p.m.

    In a year and a wonderful new global young mens organization in place in the LDS church BSA will not be a topic of discussion. BSA will be minus a half million or more boys however. My point is, I think members of the Church are exicted with the chance to define our own path forward. BSA will have to cozy up to a very secular and anti-christian culture which will be like swallowing a cactus.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 28, 2015 11:04 p.m.

    @GingerMarshall
    It's clear you do not like the LDS Church, but this is still America, and I'm OK with that. I'm OK with your opinion, but I will just have to disagree. Does't mean I wouldn't like you, if I knew you, but our life views are just different. The LDS Church does not force it's views on you or anyone. When a century long relationship starts moving the goal posts, then both parties need to examine their relationship.

  • Misty Mountain Kent, WA
    July 28, 2015 9:37 p.m.

    @worf, I don't understand your logic. I am an adult female who is openly heterosexual. Some years back I spoke to our local bishop about our scout troop. I was in his office with the door closed. He was also "openly heterosexual". Should I have been concerned?

    @GingerMarshall--welcome back, we've missed you. Appreciated your comments.

    And to the commenters who say that there will never be another Eagle Scout in their family--do you plan to control your grandsons? Your nephews? Do you believe you have that right?

  • shadowfx Chandler, AZ
    July 28, 2015 9:29 p.m.

    Follow the $$$$$. It is all about MONEY. BSA operates via donations and chasing corporate donors is key. I know a few professional scouters that were "FIRED" because they did not GET the money for the council while at the same time working within their district. When all was said and done, they really made less the $4.00/hr considering the time they put in and how much they were paid.

    The biggest part of the annual budget for most councils is "Friends of Scouting" (FOS). These funds provide a majority of the operating expenses for a council. The LDS Church has, in the past, asked all the ward members to contribute to FOS.

    Now, depending on the state, like UT, and how well FOS funds the district, it could spell the end to the scouting movement in those locations. UT in particular comprises the vast majority of memberships. They probably support FOS. If the LDS Church leaves scouting, I can see UT BSA councils loosing a lot of ground, especially with all the Council Camps which they can no long afford to keep up with the lose of $$$ and members.

    I will support any decision by the Church.

  • Uteofferouus Salt Lake City, UT
    July 28, 2015 9:20 p.m.

    With the death of "morally straight" from the values foundation of the BSA, the path for the LDS Church and other conservative faiths is clear.

    It feels like the cultural divide between conservatives and gays has just gotten a lot wider.

    It does not have to be that way, but the gay community seems heck bent on shoving their agenda down the throats of conservatives. Sad because many of us have sought to find ways to peacefully and productively work to improve relationships with the gay community. Personally, I am having to re-think my stance toward gays because (at least the supporters who comment here) appear to be so militant and uncompromising in their views that it is not clear if they can act in good faith with conservative citizens?

    I can guaratee one thing, if the gay community continues its unrelenting designs to neuter the definition of morality, they will find increased opposition on many fronts. No, conservatives are not the "morality police", but if amoral positions encroach on our conscience space, we will react. Instead of folks actively seeking to show tolerance and respect, they may take a more reserved approach.

  • Laurels Sandy, UT
    July 28, 2015 8:21 p.m.

    I look at this a bit differently from most of the previous posters. Given the difficulties and costs associated with the potential lawsuits and other legal issues that may arise--as there seems to be more instances where religious freedom and societal mores are in conflict--I perceive Robert Gates and other BSA leaders believe this policy change is necessary to ensure the BSA's long-term survival. They may be correct.

    I hope the LDS Church decides to run its own programs...programs they already have in place that are administered throughout the world, and are currently administered in conjunction with the BSA programs where BSA is available: Boys Faith in God Program (ages 8 to 11) and boys Duty to God (ages 12+). Many benefits are possible by establishing consistency across all the LDS Wards and Branches around the world. Some of the benefits include less expense, less paperwork, keeping track of one award systems v. two, and increased local autonomy to better meet unit needs.

    The BSA leadership made what they considered to be the best decision for its program. Now the LDS Church, and other churches, have that same opportunity. There's nothing petty, churlish, or selfish about that.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 28, 2015 8:17 p.m.

    Even if the LDS church starts their own organization, there will be a lot of Mormons who continue to send their boys to the BSA because they want their boys to be part of a tremendous organization. From personal experience, the LDS church using "callings" as a way to fill their scout leaders leads to poor quality scouting experiences for the youth. Playing basketball (which is all we ever did during our scout meetings in the ward house) is not of any benefit to the youth.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    July 28, 2015 8:07 p.m.

    @worf --

    "A male finding another male sexually attractive,- can now be a leader of boys? What?"

    The BSA has allowed straight women to be scout leaders for years. The sky has not fallen.

    The GSA has allowed both straight men and lesbian women to be scout leaders for years. The sky has not fallen.

    The sky is not falling, worf.

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    July 28, 2015 8:06 p.m.

    If the BSA cannot abide by church doctrine, they should be excommunicated, just like anyone else would be.

  • K_ANN Palatka, FL
    July 28, 2015 8:05 p.m.

    The fact that BSA may allow churches to choose not to have gay leaders for religious reasons doesn't mean those churches won't still be sued - so they'd do well to leave the scouting programs. The program was started as a moral program as well as outdoor skills and without the duty to God it won't be the same program - similar but not the same. In some ways I feel that is sad but life is about change, and I understand as regards the LDS church the need for a universal, international program.

  • Mesa Coug Phoenix, AZ
    July 28, 2015 7:56 p.m.

    In the past, the BSA did not preclude other organizations from starting similar programs that fell in line with their beliefs. As the article states several churches left BSA because it was not aligned with their beliefs. No one forced these them to continue to support BSA but they were free to make their own choices. That is why I find it hypocritical of many posters on this and other articles pretty much saying that the LDS Church and others should be forced to continue their association with a group that now does not fall in line with their beliefs. I say we cannot exit too soon and not be responsible for funding an organization that is morally bankrupt. What ever happened to freedom of religion and association?

  • Frank Fourth New York, NY
    July 28, 2015 7:54 p.m.

    @ Cats

    No it will not devastate the BSA and we don't even know yet if the LDS church will leave. As the NY Times reports today, only 17% of scouts are in Mormon sponsored troops.

    Remember that a great number of corporations, including the United Way, which is funded in part through voluntary payroll deductions, stopped funding the BSA for baring Gays. Many funders will surely return now that the policy has been straightened out.

    I think it would be a good idea for everyone to step back and take a deep breath.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    July 28, 2015 7:09 p.m.

    Some say The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints is being narrow-minded because it can still choose its own troops' volunteer.

    1) Their troops can't choose other troops' or camp leaders when they go to national camps such as Philmont. Nor can they choose camp leaders at jamborees. Nor can they choose their council, regional, nor national leaders.

    2) It gets to the point that the organization may no longer stand for what we want to teach our young men. If the BSA wants to change what it stands for, that's one thing. But then member organizations have every right to re-evaluate if the new values mesh with their own.

    3) The LDS Church may technically be leaving the BSA, but in reality, it is the reverse. It is the BSA that is changing the values it has espoused for over 100 years. The Church has stayed constant.

    4) I don't see The Church criticizing the BSA. The Church should not be criticized for basically saying the values just don't match any more. Why not leave The Church alone?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 28, 2015 7:10 p.m.

    A male finding another male sexually attractive,- can now be a leader of boys? What?

    The Boy Scouts have re-defined morally straight, and has betrayed many.

  • PhineasGauge Woodbury, MN
    July 28, 2015 7:03 p.m.

    Cats, you may be right. The LDS church is definitely wealthy enough to shoulder this burden though I imagine they will pass that cost on to the scouts and their families. The coffers must remain full after all.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 28, 2015 6:40 p.m.

    Looks like a number of religious groups are against bigotry and discrimination. Good for them.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:58 p.m.

    I really hope the LDS Church leaves BSA and starts it's own program. This, of course, will be devastating to the organization both in membership and financial support. I think the time has come to separate the sheep from the goats. I say this as someone who has six Eagle Scouts in my immediate family.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    July 28, 2015 5:57 p.m.

    bamafone: "A once vibrant organization has seen it's better days and now they no longer stand for duty, honor, God or Country."

    Agree or disagree with this decision, it in no way impacts the concept of "duty."

    Honor, as used in the oath, means "to fulfill an obligation." Scouts will still, by all indications, be expected to do that. In fact, more boys will be taught "duty" and "honor" since more boys are allowed to join.

    There is no indication this decision will change any part of the patriotic aspects of BSA - the implication that accepting gay men will somehow remove patriotism is, frankly, insulting.

    And finally, God. Your religious views will no longer dominate BSA as a whole, although those views may be held by your troops. America - the one I know and love - is about E Plurbis Unim, not about theocracy and mandated religious view.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:52 p.m.

    Religious groups react to all kinds of things. But in the end, they're just religious groups.

  • tennerifa Orem, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:47 p.m.

    @Silver Stingray.
    Well stated sir/ma`am. Petty and churlish is a very accurate description of their attitudes toward others, along with selfish and controlling. Not once do these types engage in the smallest amount of empathy toward their fellow traveler on life`s journey, but instead bemoan the fact that all are not in lock-step with their particular point of view.
    These folks would do much better with less judging and more pure Christian charity. I am concerned about how they will fare in the eternities, with attitudes like this.

  • HappyDad Cedar Hills, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:39 p.m.

    I understand why the LDS church is "deeply troubled" about the change, as its own stance on homosexuality will never change. If the LDS church leaves the BSA, it would be a sad, sad conclusion to a long, and mutually-beneficial partnership.

    It also makes sense that other groups who had previously disassociated with the BSA over homosexual policy are now interested in reopening talks. I love the BSA and hope that some new associations may offer hope that it will persist as an organization--because even if its morals are eroding like the rest of society, I have a hard time imagining that it will ever become a "net-negative" organization. It will still bless the lives of boys, albeit at a reduced capacity than before it started abandoning many of its core principles.

    I do believe the LDS church could do a much better job of accomplishing its goals without the overhead of supporting the BSA, and it will be exciting to see if there are any changes coming.

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:36 p.m.

    BSA is stepping aside and inviting activist groups to sue the sponsoring organizations directly. The old partnership is over.

  • Silver Stingray St. George, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:28 p.m.

    Those that do not accept the new inclusive policy only come off as petty and churlish. They squawk about "religious rights" and the BSA has accommodated them by allowing churches to choose their own scout leaders. Yet they are unwilling to let other scout organizations do the same. As such, they are just plain selfish and controlling.

  • bamafone Salem, UT
    July 28, 2015 5:16 p.m.

    A once vibrant organization has seen it's better days and now they no longer stand for duty, honor, God or Country. It will become just another neutered organization with no clearly defined moral compass and it is about to get significantly smaller. I for one will never give support to it again in any fashion. Three Eagles were awarded in our family, and they will be the last.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    July 28, 2015 4:52 p.m.

    So a couple of groups don't like it, but several groups do like it and will either start having Scouting in their programs or will increase their involvement with Scouting now that all boys and all leaders can be part of the program.

    This sounds like a net gain for BSA.

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    July 28, 2015 4:52 p.m.

    BSA new policy simply gives local charters more choices.
    And no church will be required to accept any volunteer as a Scout leader simply because of the new policy.
    I don't see this as a bad thing.