Fifty U.S. Religious Leaders Ask Boy Scouts to Maintain Existing Membership Standards
"These groups are invested in the future of scouting, rather than simply making a political statement." -- IRD President Mark Tooley
Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org
WASHINGTON, May 22, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Fifty U.S. religious leaders have signed a statement to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) encouraging the organization to continue its current leadership and membership standards, instead of a proposal to prohibit discrimination in membership based on "sexual orientation or preference." The discussion and vote are scheduled for May 23 at a national meeting of the BSA National Council.
The statement is signed by officials of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Anglican Church in North America, Evangelical Presbyterian Church and several Pentecostal denominations, among others. They represent churches whose memberships include over 20 million members.
The statement reads:
"We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision. Nearly 70 percent of BSA troops are hosted by churches and religious institutions. Upholding traditional morality is vital for sustaining this partnership, for protecting Scout members, and for ensuring BSA has a strong future. A proposal from the BSA board to prohibit 'discrimination' based on 'sexual orientation or preference' for BSA members potentially would open the Scouts to a wide range of open sexual expressions. In our current culture, it is more important than ever for our churches to protect and provide moral nurture for young people and for the Scouts. We implore members of the upcoming BSA Council to affirm the BSA's present policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed, and which has served BSA well."
A full list of signatories can be viewed here
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
"Nearly 70 percent of scouting units are sponsored by religious organizations, with Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist, Mormon and United Methodist churches among the largest sponsors. These groups are invested in the future of scouting, rather than simply making a political statement. Their voices merit being heard."