Following up on the proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to lift the ban on gay youth participating in the program, the Mormon Church has released the following statement:
For 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
Recently, BSA has been reviewing a possible policy change in its standards for membership and leadership. Now that BSA has finished its review process and has proposed a resolution for consideration, the Church has issued the following statement:
“Over the past several weeks BSA has undertaken the difficult task of reviewing its membership standards policy. In their own words, this undertaking has been ‘the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history.’
“While the Church has not launched any campaign either to effect or prevent a policy change we have followed the discussion and are satisfied that BSA has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain ‘among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.’
“The current BSA proposal constructively addresses a number of important issues that have been part of the on-going dialogue including consistent standards for all BSA partners, recognition that Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders, a single standard of moral purity for youth in the program, and a renewed emphasis for Scouts to honor their duty to God.
“We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues. We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”
While the BSA will announce next month whether or not they will lift the ban on gay youth participating in the scouting program, the ban on gay adults serving in leadership positions will remain in effect for the forseeable future.