Poll: The Mormon Church and the Boy Scouts of America
For the past couple weeks, you may have seen news coverage about the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) considering whether to lift its ban on homosexual leaders and scouts. (Right now, one cannot be an adult leader or a boy scout if they identify as gay or lesbian.) They’re proposing to allow individual troops to decide for themselves whether or not they will allow homosexuals to participate. (This Washington Post makes a compelling case as to why the BSA should make their decision at a national level rather than leaving it up to troops, but that isn’t up for debate at this time.)
On the Church’s website, mormonandgays.org, it states, “With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.” The LDS Church has had its Scouting charter since since 1913 with 420,977 youths in 37,882 Scouting units (1). The BSA currently has 2.7 million youths participating in the scouting program; Mormons represent the largest number of Scouting units (2, 3).
Our church has the numbers to make a difference in the BSA’s decision. And, we have the unique opportunity to show love to members of the LGBTQ community as well as benefiting from their talents and giving our young men more positive role models.
Also, if you support the Boy Scouts of America getting rid of the gay ban on its leaders and scouts, now is the time to contact them. They will be deliberating until May about whether this ban will continue it or not.
Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Opinion on Sexual Orientation Policy)
Call them at 972-580-2000 (Say you are calling to have your opinion be recorded regarding the ban on their Sexual Orientation Policy)
1. Letters should be short and respectful and positive.
2. Clearly state that you support them removing the official ban.
3. Include your experience with scouting (former scout, eagle scout, parent of eagle scout, etc.)
4. If you feel comfortable, sign Mormons Building Bridges, or Mormon, after your name
(1) “Boy Scouts May Mirror Mormon Policy and Let in Gays,” Salt Lake Tribune
(2) “Boy Scouting (Boy Scouts of America),” Wikepedia
(3) “The Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church,” Albion Monitor