The Mormon Church has, without surprise, endorsed a plan by the Boy Scouts of America that would do more harm to gays and lesbians than help. The proposal would allow for gay children to be Scouts, but once a scout reaches the age of 18, he would be forced out. Furthermore, the proposal before the Boy Scouts of America would bar lesbian and gay scout leaders and volunteers.
The Mormon Church is the largest sponsor of scout troops in the nation, and its endorsement will likely result in its passage on 22 May. They sponsor 25% of all Cub and Boy Scout troops in the nation or about 15% of the total membership of 2.7 million.
The ban on lesbians and gays being leaders and volunteers and the ban on gay Scouts has long been under fire. Unfortunately, the BSA has also been very worried about losing their religious sponsors. It has not mattered as much since they have begun to lose a large number of members ot other scouting groups.
Mormon, Roman Catholic and Evangelical churches have threatened to sever ties with the Scouts should they change their policy regarding gay scouts and lesbian and gay leaders. The hierarchies of these groups have not been in touch with the majority of people out there. The Mormon Church maintains that homosexuality is a sin.
Executives with the Boy Scouts recently studied the issue of dropping the ban, and found that there was, supposedly, widespread objections to gay leaders, but not to gay scouts. So, they crafted a rather impossible policy that states “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” But they proposed keeping the ban on gay adult leaders and said that any open expressions of sexuality, whether heterosexual or homosexual, had no place in scouting.
The proposal has met with very little praise and a lot of anger from all sides.