Southern Baptists to Vote on Boy Scouts' New Gay Policy

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 12 2013 11:13 AM

Southern Baptists Want to Make It Clear They Really Don't Like the Scouts' New Gay Policy

Alan Hoyle, of Lincolnton, North Carolina holds up a sign opposing gays in the Boy Scouts at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center May 23, 2013 in Grapevine, Texas

Photo by Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Members of the Southern Baptist Convention are expected to vote today on a resolution disapproving of the Boy Scouts of America's recent acceptance of openly gay members.

Jennifer Lai Jennifer Lai

Jennifer Lai is an associate editor at Slate.

While the resolution doesn't openly call for churches to stop sponsoring troops as some had had expected, it's clear that the leaders of the country's largest Protestant denomination find the new policy incompatible with their beliefs, and plan to continue to push back against the BSA's new policy. Reuters has more on the details of the new resolution, which was made public this morning:

The Southern Baptist resolution ... urges churches that decide to continue with the Boy Scouts to work toward the reversal of the new membership policy and to advocate against any change in leadership and membership that "normalizes sexual conduct outside of the biblical standards." The resolution says homosexual conduct is contrary to a scout's oath to do his duty to God.

It's certainly no surprise that the Southern Baptist Convention is issuing this resolution—after all, many leaders expressed strong disapproval when the issue was being decided upon in late May. Some Southern Baptist churches—such as the one led by former Southern Baptist President Bryant Wright—have already stopped sponsoring troops, though the new policy will officially take effect on Jan 1. The Associated Press noted Wright's position on the new policy: that it would not allow Scout masters to counsel those Scouts to "live a life of sexual purity according to Scripture."

But that doesn't mean that other religious organizations have decided to stop supporting the Boy Scouts of America. The two largest sponsors of scouting troops nationwide—the Church of Latter-day Saints (which serves some 430,000 boys) and the United Methodist Church—have accepted the new policy without any issue.

The Scouts has along worked hand in hand with churches all over the country, with about 70 percent of the group's more than 100,000 units charted by faith-based organizations, according to Reuters.



The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?


Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 12:44 AM We Need More Ben Bradlees His relationship with John F. Kennedy shows what’s missing from today’s Washington journalism.
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
Oct. 21 2014 11:44 PM Driving in Circles The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.