Church Drops Boy Scouts Troop Over Gay Ban

BY Michelle Garcia

September 18 2012 2:12 PM ET

A church in Delaware that has provided a meeting place for the local Boy Scout troop for four decades has dropped its ties with the Scouts over its recently reaffirmed stance against openly gay troop leaders and scouts.

The Silverside Church in Wilmington, Del., will allow Troop 70, also known as the Peacemakers, to convene at their space until they find a new meeting ground, USA Today reports.

Scout executive Jason Pierce, director of the Del-Mar-Va Council is helping the troop find a new space, but says no other space sponsors in his jurisdiction have dropped out after the Boy Scouts of America reestablished its long-held ban on gay members.

According to the report, about 70% of Boy Scout sponsors are churches, and half of those churches are Mormon.

St. Luke's Episcopal Church in East Greenwich, R.I., ended its charter with the group for the same reason. Meanwhile, Cub Scout Pack 24 in Redlands, Calif., said they will not adhere to the national organization's rules, and will continue to welcome all of those interested in joining the Boy Scouts.

Individually, a movement of former and current Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts have taken a stance against the national organization by returning their medals.

Bruce Smith, leader of Silverside's lay Church Council, told USA Today his church has had a good relationship with Troop 70, but "at the same time, we have what our church stands for. When you're a sponsor, somebody is saying, 'We agree with the other's belief system and values' and that isn't the case anymore."

Tags: Religion

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