LDS Church and Boy Scouts of America’s ties are near a breaking point.
It was announced by Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that from 2018, the LDS will not participate in Boy Scouts' programs crafted for older teenagers with age group ranging from 14 years to 17 years. The church had earlier expressed its dissatisfaction concerning the increasing acceptance of scouts towards LGBT leaders. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have also included transgender boys in their activities.
This move by the LDS church would debar about 180,000 Mormon boys from attending Varsity and Venturing Scout activities in the United States and also Canada. The BSA programs will be substituted with a number of activities created by the church itself.
For scouting, this is a considerable blow. Almost one in six American Scouts belong to the LDS. Scouting and the LDS were once thought inseparable. It was a component of the church's Young Men program lasting 104 years. This dropping of scouting has not surprised those associated with the church's inner circle. This separation was on the cards for many years.
Unpopular Opinion: Boy Scouts should not be apart of the LDS Church. 😊😊😊
— Megan (@meganliz77) April 16, 2017
I think LDS distancing itself from BSA has *everything* to do with latter's new (and embracing) POV re: being gay. https://t.co/68ysS8lNYG
— Hilary Roberts Grant (@hilarygrant112) May 12, 2017
The Mormon Church will continue its association and sponsor the Cub Scouts for boys with age anywhere between 11 years and 13 years of age in the United States and Canada. The church, however, released a few statements, hinting that it may drop these programs in the future.
Mormon Church members have openly expressed their displeasure with Boy Scouts' of America's policy of admitting transgender boys and openly gay leaders during the last few years. The LDS in its announcement spoke about its new policies in an obtuse manner. It said that the church is thankful to the BSA for allowing it to operate programs consistent with their beliefs and standards. The change will meet the needs of the young men aged between 14 years and 18 years of age. It continued on to proclaim that it is always examining what is best for its member youth and their families, and it would continue that way.
The BSA also released a statement on May 11. It wrote that although thousands of leaders and youths participating in venturing crews all over the country support and embrace its programs, the Boy Scouts' recognize that all programs could not fit all partners. It is anticipated that a number of youths from LDS Church will remain in scouting beyond 14 years of age. They will work to earn Eagle Scout rank.