1 year after ban on gay leaders lifted, Boy Scouts of America “fairing well”
Last Summer, the traditional and often church-linked Boy Scouts of America made a decision which shocked some and opened the hearts of others.
BSA’s National President Dr. Robert M. Gates changed the 109-year-old group’s policy to allow openly gay troop leaders and said in a statement the old policy was unsustainable.
“No youth may be denied membership to our organization on the basis of sexual orientation alone,” said Gates. “And no council can deny a charter to a unit that is following the beliefs of its religious chartering origination.”
The BSA had seen umbers declining for some time prior to last year’s policy change, reaching a peak of about 4 million members some years ago. In 2013 the group reported 2.6 million members and now they’re reporting totals around 2.35 million.
AP is calling the trend a “stabilization” in the face of a long term decline. They also reported religious leaders who threatened to abandon the youth groups, which often call Church meeting rooms home, have had little complaints:
Catholic Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., whose duties include liaising with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, says he knows of no instances in which a Catholic unit — there are more than 7,500 — has taken on an openly gay adult leader since the policy change. Gay sex and same-sex marriage are considered violations of church teaching.
The Boy Scouts’ national leadership “has been wonderfully supportive,” Guglielmone said.
Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention were unhappy with the BSA’s easing of the ban on gay adults but did not call on individual churches to disaffiliate with troops that they sponsored.
A year later, the number of Southern Baptist churches that cut ties with Scouting is “in the double digits,” far outnumbered by those who continued their sponsorships, according to Ted S. Spangenberg Jr., president of the executive board of the Association of Baptists for Scouting.
“We kind of like the way it looks,” Spangenberg said. “If you’re faith-based, it’s within your right to select the adult leaders who are going to uphold the tenets of your faith.”
That last line about being able to select leaders who will “uphold the tenets of your faith” might be a point of concern, but there seems to be little to no complaints from members of the LGBTQ community up to this point.
Orlando Boy Scouts honor Pulse victims by collecting and “respectfully” retiring and burning left American Flags
While the attack on the Orlando gay club continues to resinate in the hearts of people around the country, what to do with some of the items left as memorials is still unclear. But a local Boy Scouts of America troop has offered to handle the removal and ceremonial burning of the many American flags [...]July 19, 2016
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