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Mormon Church Backs Off Threat to Leave Boy Scouts

Mormon Church Backs Off Threat to Leave Boy Scouts

The Mormon Church released a statement today saying it was going "forward with [the] Scouting program," after the Boy Scouts moved in July to drop its ban on openly gay men serving as scout leaders.

After the BSA approved a resolution to end its long-derided ban on gay men, the Church sprung into action, releasing a statement saying “the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.”

But on Wednesday, the Church sounded more conciliatory, all while opening the door to discrimination in Church-sponsored troops: 

"In the resolution adopted on July 27, 2015, and in subsequent verbal assurances to us, BSA has reiterated that it expects those who sponsor Scouting units (such as the Church) to appoint Scout leaders according to their religious and moral values “in word and deed and who will best inculcate the organization’s values through the Scouting program.” At this time, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will go forward as a chartering organization of BSA, and as in the past, will appoint Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify Church doctrine, values, and standards."

Zach Wahls, co-founder and Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, issued the following statement:

"We are heartened by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' decision to continue working with the Boy Scouts of America and to continue offering the program to its young men. We have maintained from the beginning of our campaign that the values and life lessons of Scouting are universal, and we would have been saddened to see hundreds of thousands of youth denied the opportunity to participate in the Boy Scouts. We hope to continue to work to build a stronger and more welcoming Boy Scouts of America with friends and allies across the religious and political spectrum." 

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