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Mormon Church ‘deeply troubled’ at Boy Scouts of America lifting ban on gay adults

Mormon Church ‘deeply troubled’ at Boy Scouts of America lifting ban on gay adults

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a statement today saying it is ‘deeply troubled’ that the ban on openly gay adults in the Scouts of America has been lifted.

The vote, carried out Monday by BSA’s National Executive Committee, was lifted with 79% of those involved in favour.

Governing councils of the Mormon Church are apparently away from their offices in the month of July, and therefore were not represented at the meeting. They requested it to be delayed but were turned down.

Religious organizations can still elect their own unit leaders, even if that means they only allow heterosexual leaders. The proviso policy was intended as a way to circumvent potential turmoil with religious and conservative affiliates.

Despite this, the Mormon Church said they will review its membership in August when meetings recommence.

‘When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined’, it said in a statement. The Mormon Church was the first ever sponsor of the Scouts.

The statement continues: ‘The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation.

‘However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.’

Boy Scouts of America has a huge Mormon membership; around 437,160 young people in 2013.

However, the statement suggests a specialist Mormon Scouts may be launched in the future – not only because of the lifting of the gay ban but because many young Mormons outside of the US are not able to participate with the Boy Scouts of America.

‘As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available,’ it said.