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GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) -- In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation's leading youth organization.

Gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal.

Casting ballots were about 1,400 voting members of BSA's National Council who were attending their annual meeting at a conference center not far from BSA headquarters in suburban Dallas.

The vote will not end the wrenching debate over the Scouts' membership policy, and it could trigger defections among those on the losing side.

http://hosted.ap.org...-05-23-18-13-07

Of course the Church had taken a neutral position consistent with (unchanged) doctrine and was ready to roll with which ever way it went.

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Of course the Church had taken a neutral position consistent with (unchanged) doctrine and was ready to roll with which ever way it went.

I don't like the use of the expression "openly gay" in the lead paragraph. It is ambiguous. It may or may not mean practicing homosexual behavior. If it does, that is still forbidden, even under the new policy, from what I understand.

Admission of sexual orientation does not necessarily mean one acts on it.

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Going to be interesting this Sunday. One of my colleagues at Church was sure the Boy Scouts wouldn't pass it and if they did, the Church would withdraw from the BSA program. We haven't heard the Church's response but it's stance shows that, I believe, it will roll and continue. If I judge by his response to the issue then, I expect him to at least step down from his calling but I suspect he will actually roll too.

I am actually disappointed in the decision which was only last year or the year before voted against by essentially the same people. I think many erroneously took the Church's statement as actual support. I am very familiar with the ins and outs of this lifestyle and the Church is coming dangerously close to letting in a wolf though I understand the need to navigate PR-wise so as to cast a broad a net as possible. I think what people need to understand is that gay youth and adults will still be supported in their effort to remain celibate or repent as the case may be. Homosexuality remains sin and it really isn't possible for someone who is "openly gay" to be worthy. They have to be working on resisting rather than accepting.

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Going to be interesting this Sunday. One of my colleagues at Church was sure the Boy Scouts wouldn't pass it and if they did, the Church would withdraw from the BSA program. We haven't heard the Church's response but it's stance shows that, I believe, it will roll and continue. If I judge by his response to the issue then, I expect him to at least step down from his calling but I suspect he will actually roll too.

I am actually disappointed in the decision which was only last year or the year before voted against by essentially the same people. I think many erroneously took the Church's statement as actual support. I am very familiar with the ins and outs of this lifestyle and the Church is coming dangerously close to letting in a wolf though I understand the need to navigate PR-wise so as to cast a broad a net as possible. I think what people need to understand is that gay youth and adults will still be supported in their effort to remain celibate or repent as the case may be. Homosexuality remains sin and it really isn't possible for someone who is "openly gay" to be worthy. They have to be working on resisting rather than accepting.

Was that intentionally punny ?
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I think that although the BSA has said they will not visit the issue of gay adult leaders further, there's going to be significant pressure from certain quarters for them to revisit it. Given the political nature of what the BSA has become, I would not be surprised to see a major rift occur within the next few years because of this issue.

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As another aside to this, I wonder what gay rights groups thought of the specific statement by the BSA that any sexual activity by boys, gay or straight, would be against policy. This has, of course, been the policy of scouting for years, but the silence on this item by gay groups was interesting.

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The Church had clearly indicated they were satisfied with the policy which exactly mirrors Church policy so the vote today was no surprise. But I agree, this policy change does not extricate the BSA from being used as a cultural/religious battlefield. Had BSA wanted to stop the contention they should have gone with the first compromise.

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Those that predict LGBT groups will not stop at this compromise are correct--we won't. While this is a GREAT first step in the right direction, it's not the end of the issue.

Here's how major LGBT groups are responding:

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

LGBT Groups React To Boy Scouts Change

Scouts For Equality:

“The Boy Scouts of America can do better,” said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and Executive Director of Scouts for Equality. “We welcome the news that the ban on gay Scouts is history, but our work isn’t over until we honor the Scout Law by making this American institution open and affirming to all.”

Human Rights Campaign:

Today is a historic day for Boy Scouts across the country who want to be a part of this great American institution. But the new policy doesn’t go far enough. Parents and adults of good moral character, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to volunteer their time to mentor the next generation of Americans.

Family Equality Council:

"Every Boy Scout, on their honor, first pledges to do their best,” said Family Equality Council Spokesman Steve Majors. “This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the best the Boy Scouts can do. The Boy Scouts of America have sent a hurtful message to Scouts with LGBT parents that their moms and dads are not welcome as leaders alongside other parents. As a father of two girl scouts and the proud partner of an Eagle Scout, I know that Scouting has a long tradition of being a family activity and the Boy Scouts should be open to all our families.”

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:

This vote marks a monumental step forward for the Boy Scouts of America. We are thrilled for the gay youth who will no longer be turned away from scouting simply because of who they are. As we celebrate this moment, we know the work isn’t complete. The Boy Scouts of America still discriminates against qualified adults who are denied the opportunity to participate in leadership positions because they are gay. Fairness is a fundamental American principle — it’s not to be sliced, diced, divvied up and dictated by prejudice.

GLAAD:

This major victory for gay youth is thanks to you and the millions of other Americans who took action. Now we need you to share the news, and press for a full nondiscrimination policy. Gay youth can now participate in Scouting, which is a huge WIN. But gay Scout leaders - like former den mother Jennifer Tyrrell - are still banned from the Boy Scouts. This is the time to keep up the pressure. We won't stop until the Boy Scouts of America removes the ban on gay and lesbian parents and leaders.

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Those that predict LGBT groups will not stop at this compromise are correct--we won't. While this is a GREAT first step in the right direction, it's not the end of the issue.

Here's how major LGBT groups are responding:

THURSDAY, MAY 23, 2013

LGBT Groups React To Boy Scouts Change

Scouts For Equality:

“The Boy Scouts of America can do better,” said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and Executive Director of Scouts for Equality. “We welcome the news that the ban on gay Scouts is history, but our work isn’t over until we honor the Scout Law by making this American institution open and affirming to all.”

Human Rights Campaign:

Today is a historic day for Boy Scouts across the country who want to be a part of this great American institution. But the new policy doesn’t go far enough. Parents and adults of good moral character, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to volunteer their time to mentor the next generation of Americans.

Family Equality Council:

"Every Boy Scout, on their honor, first pledges to do their best,” said Family Equality Council Spokesman Steve Majors. “This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the best the Boy Scouts can do. The Boy Scouts of America have sent a hurtful message to Scouts with LGBT parents that their moms and dads are not welcome as leaders alongside other parents. As a father of two girl scouts and the proud partner of an Eagle Scout, I know that Scouting has a long tradition of being a family activity and the Boy Scouts should be open to all our families.”

National Gay & Lesbian Task Force:

This vote marks a monumental step forward for the Boy Scouts of America. We are thrilled for the gay youth who will no longer be turned away from scouting simply because of who they are. As we celebrate this moment, we know the work isn’t complete. The Boy Scouts of America still discriminates against qualified adults who are denied the opportunity to participate in leadership positions because they are gay. Fairness is a fundamental American principle — it’s not to be sliced, diced, divvied up and dictated by prejudice.

GLAAD:

This major victory for gay youth is thanks to you and the millions of other Americans who took action. Now we need you to share the news, and press for a full nondiscrimination policy. Gay youth can now participate in Scouting, which is a huge WIN. But gay Scout leaders - like former den mother Jennifer Tyrrell - are still banned from the Boy Scouts. This is the time to keep up the pressure. We won't stop until the Boy Scouts of America removes the ban on gay and lesbian parents and leaders.

I was reading today that 26% of the gay couples in SLC are raising children and I am wondering how that will play out when their children want to join Cub Scouts and their parents go to sign up as volunteer leaders?

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Those that predict LGBT groups will not stop at this compromise are correct--we won't

You do realize that this lack of compromise will only make people more stubborn you know. You are less likely to get what you want by not compromising.

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Going to be interesting this Sunday. One of my colleagues at Church was sure the Boy Scouts wouldn't pass it and if they did, the Church would withdraw from the BSA program. We haven't heard the Church's response but it's stance shows that, I believe, it will roll and continue. If I judge by his response to the issue then, I expect him to at least step down from his calling but I suspect he will actually roll too.

If the Church decides not to support the Boy Scouts program I would not look for a major policy change announcement but rather there would be a quiet withdrawn over a longer period of time.

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If the Church decides not to support the Boy Scouts program I would not look for a major policy change announcement but rather there would be a quiet withdrawn over a longer period of time.

The Church issued a news release almost immediately after the vote (suggesting to me they knew this would be the outcome). The Church's view can be found here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-responds-to-boy-scouts-of-america-policy-vote. To answer your question, the Church's relationship with BSA will continue:

"As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world."

Also note that a first presidency letter is forthcoming to every ward (at least in the US) that will be address the church's involvement with BSA.

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The Church issued a news release almost immediately after the vote (suggesting to me they knew this would be the outcome). The Church's view can be found here: http://www.mormonnew...ica-policy-vote. To answer your question, the Church's relationship with BSA will continue:

"As the Church moves forward in its association with the Boy Scouts of America, Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world."

Also note that a first presidency letter is forthcoming to every ward (at least in the US) that will be address the church's involvement with BSA.

Yeah, I still think that the Church had sent a tacit signal that they wouldn't have objected to the first compromise, and that the reason they were so quick to pronounce themselves satisfied with the second compromise is that they wanted to head off the Great Salt Lake Council from derailing the second compromise. This is a case where the Church understands the cultural/political situation more realistically than do certain social conservatives in Utah and elsewheres.

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Yeah, I still think that the Church had sent a tacit signal that they wouldn't have objected to the first compromise, and that the reason they were so quick to pronounce themselves satisfied with the second compromise is that they wanted to head off the Great Salt Lake Council from derailing the second compromise. This is a case where the Church understands the cultural/political situation more realistically than do certain social conservatives in Utah and elsewheres.

I completely agree. Church leadership would have been fine with the first compromise. Some church members would not, but I have yet to find any members who were not OK with the first compromise, but who are OK with the second.

The one nagging question I have regards the BSA's report that a strong majority of members opposed the "local option" of the first compromise. That is the one piece that doesn't match up with my perceptions.

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I completely agree. Church leadership would have been fine with the first compromise. Some church members would not, but I have yet to find any members who were not OK with the first compromise, but who are OK with the second.

The one nagging question I have regards the BSA's report that a strong majority of members opposed the "local option" of the first compromise. That is the one piece that doesn't match up with my perceptions.

Well, I wouldn't say that all the GA's were necessarily enthused with the first compromise -- I don't think for example that Elder Packer probably was, but I think the First Presidency was because they realized that the first compromise, unlike the second compromise would have eliminated BSA as a cultural battlezone and would not have affected the Church's policies, plus Scouting in other countries has moved past this issue and the Church still is affiliated. Its just American Mormons are more socially conservative and more politically aggressive -- at least they were under Pres. Hinckley and it is a lot harder to stop a crusade than to start one.

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Well, I wouldn't say that all the GA's were necessarily enthused with the first compromise -- I don't think for example that Elder Packer probably was, but I think the First Presidency was because they realized that the first compromise, unlike the second compromise would have eliminated BSA as a cultural battlezone and would not have affected the Church's policies, plus Scouting in other countries has moved past this issue and the Church still is affiliated. Its just American Mormons are more socially conservative and more politically aggressive -- at least they were under Pres. Hinckley and it is a lot harder to stop a crusade than to start one.

Interesting crusade analogy. I think that's apt. Let's pray that the gay rights movement finds a modern-day Saladin (perhaps Andrew Sullivan?) that will treat us kinder than we have treated them.

Also agree that "church leadership" is not unified on a direction here. But movement is happening within the COB. I'll be very interested to see what the FP letter says. I'm sure it will reiterate the points of the news release - that our relationship with BSA continues and that our standards continue. What I'm most interested in is whether additional wiggle room is opened so that we stop treating homosexual conduct (at least within youth) more harshly than we do other disapproved conduct.

For instance, no scout in my world has ever been expelled from scouts for smoking. We continue to work with him, though of course he can't pack his pipe on the 50-miler. Will the same tolerance be extended to gay scouts too?

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Interesting crusade analogy. I think that's apt. Let's pray that the gay rights movement finds a modern-day Saladin (perhaps Andrew Sullivan?) that will treat us kinder than we have treated them.

Also agree that "church leadership" is not unified on a direction here. But movement is happening within the COB. I'll be very interested to see what the FP letter says. I'm sure it will reiterate the points of the news release - that our relationship with BSA continues and that our standards continue. What I'm most interested in is whether additional wiggle room is opened so that we stop treating homosexual conduct (at least within youth) more harshly than we do other disapproved conduct.

For instance, no scout in my world has ever been expelled from scouts for smoking. We continue to work with him, though of course he can't pack his pipe on the 50-miler. Will the same tolerance be extended to gay scouts too?

I don't expect the letter to say much of anything of substance, it is probably intended primarily to get some segments of the Church to quit belly-aching, kind of like they tried to get some members from being quite so belligerent about the fact they lost the last election. Cooler heads will eventually prevail.

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Interesting crusade analogy. I think that's apt. Let's pray that the gay rights movement finds a modern-day Saladin (perhaps Andrew Sullivan?) that will treat us kinder than we have treated them.

Baloney! It is merely homosexual agenda propaganda that the Church, or that a significant number of it's members, has treated them poorly.

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Baloney! It is merely homosexual agenda propaganda that the Church, or that a significant number of it's members, has treated them poorly.

We tried to exclude them from marriage and from leading families of their own - the things we value most. That caused them a lot of pain. I'm hopeful they can drink the bitter cup without become bitter themselves. I'm also hopeful these words will be fulfilled and they will draw a circle that includes us all:

He drew a circle that shut me out —

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win:

We drew a circle that took him in.

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Baloney! It is merely homosexual agenda propaganda that the Church, or that a significant number of it's members, has treated them poorly.

Ooops sorry!

Not appropriate! -Ares

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We tried to exclude them from marriage and from leading families of their own - the things we value most.

The Church does not perform same-sex marriages, but has done nothing to exclude others from performing them. The Church did encourage its members in California to vote not to extend certain tax advantages to same-sex "marriages" (they were already available in civil unions), and there by not encourage homosexual relationships, but it did nothing to exclude them.

I can only imagine how overjoyed the saints would have been during the late 19th century if the government had treated polygamous marriages the same way same-sex marriages are treated today. Do as you will, but do not expect to receive favored status and tax advantages for every behavior you choose to engage in. Sadly it appears that many of our brothers and sisters are unfulfilled in their same-sex relationships and will remain so until they can persuade people outside their relationship to officially accept it.

-guerreiro9

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The Church does not perform same-sex marriages, but has done nothing to exclude others from performing them. The Church did encourage its members in California to vote not to extend certain tax advantages to same-sex "marriages" (they were already available in civil unions), and there by not encourage homosexual relationships, but it did nothing to exclude them.

I can only imagine how overjoyed the saints would have been during the late 19th century if the government had treated polygamous marriages the same way same-sex marriages are treated today. Do as you will, but do not expect to receive favored status and tax advantages for every behavior you choose to engage in. Sadly it appears that many of our brothers and sisters are unfulfilled in their same-sex relationships and will remain so until they can persuade people outside their relationship to officially accept it.

-guerreiro9

You are totally mistaken about Prop 8 in California. Prop 8 was specifically directed at preventing SSM by mandating a definition of marriage which was restricted to marriages between a man and a woman. Tax benefits had litle or nothing to do with it because on the Federal level that is governed by DOMA.

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You are totally mistaken about Prop 8 in California. Prop 8 was specifically directed at preventing SSM by mandating a definition of marriage which was restricted to marriages between a man and a woman. Tax benefits had litle or nothing to do with it because on the Federal level that is governed by DOMA.

How did it prevent same-sex marriage? Did it prevent people of the same-sex from living together? Did it prevent people of the same-sex from inviting friends and family to a formal commitment ceremony where rings and vows are exchanged? Certain benefits at the federal level are withheld as you mentioned due to DOMA, but this had nothing to do with proposition 8. All applicable rights and benefits available to be granted by the state of California were already available to same-sex couples through civil unions. I am a little unsure what proposition 8 prevented except official acceptance from those outside the relationship. Can you name a single thing besides an official piece of paper that it prevented?

-guerreiro9

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