Proposed change in Scouts' gay policy alarms some church sponsors

NEW YORK (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America's proposed move away from its no-gays membership policy has alarmed some of the religious organizations that charter 70 percent of all scouting units.

Mormon and Roman Catholic leaders, whose churches are among the biggest sponsors of scout troops, have supported the no-gays policy in the past, but offered no immediate response to the announcement of a possible change.

The United Methodist Church, the second largest sponsor of Scout units after the Mormons, expressed support for letting sponsoring organizations decide for themselves whether to admit gays as scouts and adult leaders.

But a top Southern Baptist official, the Rev. Frank Page, said the new policy would "lead to a disintegration of faith-based values."

News of the proposed change came just ahead of "Scout Sunday" this coming weekend — an annual event in which churches have special worship services and luncheons to honor scouts. Page says, "Churches have not had time to think and pray and consider this."

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226-v-32-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor)--The Boy Scouts of America's proposed move away from its no-gays membership policy has alarmed some of the religious organizations that charter 70 percent of all scouting units. AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports. (29 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *226 (01/29/13)>> 00:32

227-c-21-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor)-"pray about it"-AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports that the proposal to let sponsoring organizations decide whether to accept gay scouts and leaders raises questions about the future of the Boy Scouts of America. (29 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *227 (01/29/13)>> 00:21 "pray about it"

228-c-18-(Steve Coleman, AP religion editor)-"and consider this"-AP Religion Editor Steve Coleman reports that word of the Boy Scouts of America's proposed move away from its no-gays membership policy has caught many church sponsors of scout troops off guard. (29 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *228 (01/29/13)>> 00:18 "and consider this"

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