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LDS Church releases statement on possible BSA gay member policy change

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Apr 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-25 18:15:56-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released a statement on the Boy Scouts of America considering allowing gay members and leaders.

The BSA said earlier this month that they will propose an end to the denial of members to youth on the basis of sexual orientation but keep its ban on openly gay leaders.

The proposal, made by the organization’s executive committee, is expected to be presented to voting members at a May meeting in Dallas, Texas. If approved, the policy would take effect January 1.

The full statement reads:

For 100 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has enjoyed a strong, rewarding relationship with Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Recently, BSA has been reviewing a possible policy change in its standards for membership and leadership. Now that BSA has finished its review process and has proposed a resolution for consideration, the Church has issued the following statement:

“Over the past several weeks BSA has undertaken the difficult task of reviewing its membership standards policy. In their own words, this undertaking has been ‘the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history.’

“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.”

Read the full statement on www.mormonnewsroom.org.