- Gender and Relationships
The Mormon Church Makes A Huge Anti-LGBT Statement
Earlier this week, the Church of Latter Day Saints made an announcement that rocked the Boy Scouts of America to its very organizational foundations. The Mormon Church is currently the largest sponsor of the Boy Scouts across the nation. But that legacy will be disappearing in short order, as all Mormon boys between the ages of 14 and 18 will be quitting the organization permanently. This exodus accounts for about 180,000 of the 2.3 million Boy Scouts nationwide. The LDS Church is starting their own similar type of organization to replace Boy Scout membership; an organization that will not likely be open to gay or transgendered youth. The Church will allow the boys between 8 and 13, another 280,000, to remain until they have a youth program fully developed. The Mormon faith teaches that homosexuality is a sin and they strongly opposed gay marriage.
During the past five years, the Boy Scouts of America have made some drastic policy changes; specifically focused on appeasing the LGBT community. Each of these decisions was seen as near-landmark as they were happening. It started in 2013, when the Boy Scouts opened up membership to all boys, regardless of their sexual orientation. At the time, the LDS Church issued a statement which seemingly amounted to their acceptance of gay Scouts in church sponsored units, "as long as they agreed to abide by church standards." Although they attempted to hide their disdain for gay Scouts, this statement telegraphed their real feelings. By using the "Church standards" angle, the LDS Elders were able to effectively control or limit the behaviors of a homosexual member, thus denying him the opportunity to fully express himself. Shortly after this event, the concept of a church sponsored type of organization began brewing behind the scenes. With the still looming possibility that the Boy Scouts would go one step further and allow openly Gay Scoutmasters and other leaders, many members of the church wanted a route out of the Boy Scouts, but not one which would take away the experience for their straight boys.
Intense pressure from the Disney corporation and their threat to pull funding from the Boy Scouts led to the group rolling over totally and letting Gay men become troop leaders. Disney has been promoting homosexuality for several decades and it's widely known that more than a quarter of Disney employees, including leadership, are gay. Mormon donoations to Scouting started dropping and the church stated it was "deeply troubled" by the decision of the BSA to let gay men have complete authority over groups of very young boys. The official church statement almost came right out to state that the church would be coming out with its own program and soon.
Another two years passed and with it came another policy change by the Scouts; this time it was to announce that the organization would accept transgendered youth into the program. This decision came as the BSA once again folded to pressure from an outside group. The National Organization for Women demanded transgendered youth be allowed to join and the demands were met. This decision was obviously the last straw, and the LDS Church announced shortly afterwards the decision to separate the older boys; moving the Mormon Scouts into a church approved program and once again demonstrating their intolerance for homosexuality or transgenderism.
The Church is claiming that the decision to separate was independent of anything related to LGBT, but if that's the case, then where is any evidence? Church leaders are unable to show any reason for separating from the Boy Scouts other than the policy changes. They were huge supporters, but once the Scouts accepted homosexuality, the playing field changed and the Mormons left. I'd be willing to bet that the younger kids are whisked away as soon as possible as well. Other religious leaders are supporting the decision and a few are calling for all people of faith to also leave Scouting.