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Southern Baptists Decry End of Boy Scouts' Ban on Gay Members

The Southern Baptist Convention has approved a resolution opposing a new Boy Scouts of America policy that lifts a ban on gay membership.

The decision was made earlier today, at the group’s annual convention in Houston.

The resolution itself does not demand that affiliated churches discontinue their sponsorship of troops. But the resolution voices its support for churches that choose to do so, while reiterating earlier declarations calling for the removal of the various leaders that instituted the new Boy Scouts policy this past May.

This comes as no surprise to many. Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention executive committee, expressed his opposition to the new scout policy shortly after it was made public. Earlier this year he said “Homosexual behavior is incompatible with the principles enshrined in the Scout oath and Scout law.” That’s in addition to earlier rumblings that made today’s announcement somewhat of a forgone conclusion.

According to the Boys Scouts of America website, Baptist churches sponsor 3,981 troops and a total of 108,353 youths nationwide. The Southern Baptist Convention is by far the largest Baptist branch.

By contrast, the United Methodist Church organization that advised its leaders to continue sponsorships of Boy Scout troops earlier this week.

While today’s decision supports allows Southern Baptist churches to pull scouting sponsorship, it fails to make churches that cut their ties with Boy Scout troops.

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