The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a statement in support of the shift by the Boy Scouts of America that will allow gay Scouts to fully participate within the Scout program.
I want to share part of that statement:
“While the Church has not launched any campaign either to effect or prevent a policy change we have followed the discussion and are satisfied that BSA has made a thoughtful, good-faith effort to address issues that, as they have said, remain ‘among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.’
“The current BSA proposal constructively addresses a number of important issues that have been part of the on-going dialogue including consistent standards for all BSA partners, recognition that Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders, a single standard of moral purity for youth in the program, and a renewed emphasis for Scouts to honor their duty to God.
“We are grateful to BSA for their careful consideration of these issues. We appreciate the positive things contained in this current proposal that will help build and strengthen the moral character and leadership skills of youth as we work together in the future.”
While the BSA has stopped short of allowing openly gay leaders, this move towards a more inclusive Boy Scouts is a welcome one to me as a parent on two young Scouts.
This gesture by the LDS Church is also a welcome one as the Church has often been perceived as one of the forces most strongly opposed to allowing gays into Scouts. From their statement, the Church is publicly claiming that it did not oppose these most recent efforts.
Is this a sign of a softening stance on these types of issues by the LDS Church? Only time will tell, but I will welcome the move nonetheless.