Liberty Counsel has received questions from churches which have chosen to maintain their association with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) regarding whether their continued involvement with the organization requires them to admit an openly homosexual scout master or youth member. Liberty Counsel has provided model language to ensure that all church programs or uses of property, including scout troops, remain consistent with God’s Word.For boys, BSA’s January 2014 membership standards require that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone” and state that “any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. The BSA is not endorsing homosexual conduct nor is it forcing religious chartered organizations to do so.” Therefore, churches may define and enforce behavior and advocacy in chartered scout troops consistent with biblical teaching.
For adult leaders, BSA will not prevent churches from selecting leaders consistent with their religious beliefs. BSA’s legal memo concludes that its right to grant charters to religious organizations is strongly protected under the law. However, when churches are challenged about use of their facilities for same-sex ceremonies, use of restrooms, and other LGBT issues, they hurt their legal defense by allowing the BSA as a recognized group. A better alternative to the BSA is Trail Life USA, which was formed in response to the change in the BSA policy. See www.traillifeusa.com.
“The once great Boy Scouts of America has taken a great fall when it changes the longstanding policy to allow homosexual scout leaders and members. This change in policy is fraught with danger. While there are ways for churches to protect their integrity and the safety of their young boys, the best alternative is to abandon the scouts because the scouts abandoned them. Trail Life USA is the best alternative to the failed BSA program,” said Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “Liberty Counsel will continue to defend the right of churches to make employment and volunteer decisions based on church religious beliefs and the teachings of the Bible,” said Staver.