Churches Sever Ties With Boy Scouts Following Lifted Ban on Gay Scouts


A number of churches that previously sponsored Boy Scout troops have said they plan to sever ties to the organization following its decision to lift a longtime national ban on admitting openly gay Scouts. Openly gay adults will still be barred from leadership roles in the organization.

"I think I can say with pretty strong accuracy that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are very disappointed in the latest change in policy … deeply disappointed," Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's executive committee, told

Page said that the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest Protestant denomination in the United States — would be holding its national meeting in two weeks, after which it would likely recommend that its 47,000 U.S. churches pull away from the Boy Scouts of America. From there, it is up to each individual church to decide what to do, said Page.

About 70 percent of all local Boy Scout troops are supported by religious groups, according to the Boy Scouts of America, and the Southern Baptist Convention currently sponsors "hundreds of troops, probably thousands," Page said.

"We don't hate people," said Page. "We don't hate anybody, but we just felt like there's got to be some objective standard, and we felt they were maintaining that until recently."

Written By: Christina Ng
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  1. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if Scouting had the balls to say that it did not want the sponsorship of homophobic religious bigots and was firing them before they fired Scouting, and would henceforth meet in somebody’s garage pending more suitable arrangements? And that in the meantime they were removing any reference to God from the Scout’s Promise?

    Not that I’m holding my breath…

  2. I think I can say with pretty strong accuracy that the vast majority of Southern Baptists are very disappointed in the latest change in policy … deeply disappointed,” Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee, told

    I’m deeply disappointed that there are still southern baptists.

  3. I went I was a boy, I belonged to Cub Scouts, the junior version of Boy Scouts for 8 year olds. We met each week in an auditorium provided by a local Anglican church. In return the church got freedom from taxes, for providing this and other services to the community.

    If they don’t provide such services, they don’t deserve the tax break.

    • In reply to #8 by Roedy:

      It is not illegal to discriminate against gays in some jurisdictions? Surely the churches who pull the scout thing could be prosecuted.

      They cannot be prosecuted for not sponsoring a scout troop. I don’t sponsor a troop.

  4. What a bunch of idiots. They should try talking to Scouts Australia

    OPENLY gay youths have always been welcome to join Scouts Australia, the organisation says, after its American counterpart overturned a decades-old ban.

    At its annual meeting in Texas on Thursday, the 103-year-old Boy Scouts of America voted to end a ban barring openly homosexual members, but maintained a prohibition on gay adult leaders.

    Scouts Australia says its door has always been open to gay men and boys.

    “We’ve always had a non-discrimination policy across the board,” a spokeswoman told AAP.

    “We’ve never had any discrimination in regard to sexuality and that sort of thing.

    “And when we hire people, we gauge people on the quality of their leadership skills rather than their sexual preferences. That’s their personal business.”

    She declined to comment on the merits of the US decision, saying other scout organisations were independent institutions.

    It’s not that bloody hard to not discriminate.


  5. When I was a boy there were no governent-run community centers. There were a few public swimming pools. The churches filled. The offered athletic programs, and space of all manner of community theatre, music, charitable, etc projects.

    It was only fair to compensate for this service with a tax deduction. They got even better than that, no taxes at all.

    Today the churches no longer maintain their side of this unwritten bargain, especially the TV churches.

    Since situation has changed so drastically, we need to renegotiate. Churches should get deductions only for the services they provide to the community.

    It makes no sense that humanists get no subsidy at all, where churches get complete freedom from taxes when they are doing almost the exact same thing. They should be treated alike, based on the services they provide.

  6. “We don’t hate people,” said Page. “We don’t hate anybody, but we just felt like there’s got to be some objective standard, and we felt they were maintaining that until recently.”

    See what they did there? The instant the Scouts practice a different moral code to the twisted one the religious protesters follow (i.e. no homophobia allowed), it’s assumed they don’t uphold any “objective standard”. No wonder religious people assume non-religious people have no morals, with that kind of self-aggrandizing thinking.

    Homophobia at its most moralistically pretentious.

  7. Evidently these “holy people” are much aligned with the people of Nigeria. Perhaps they should go live there. It would be much more to their liking.

    Isn’t this the message they delivered over and over to people like me? “If you do not like the US get out?”…… Live by it; die by it.


  8. You know, I couldn’t be more pleased with this news.

    Any group of people that claim not only the moral high ground, but the absolute position on what is permissible deserves the vitriol of reasonable people who want equal treatment for all.

    The extreme fundamentalist and others that align with this line of thinking do nothing more than alienate themselves further in the public eye. And while they seem extraordinarily proud to draw their line in the sand, they don’t see the line pushing farther away from everyone else.

    So, no really keep it up.

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