By Adriane Dorr
Following the May 23 Boy Scouts of America (BSA) vote to end the organization’s historic 103-year policy against allowing openly gay Scouts in the organization, the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS Office of National Mission, released a statement on Friday, May 24.
Asking for patience and time to study the vote’s implications for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Day noted that “LCMS leaders are already studying the implications of this policy change, but we will need some time to evaluate the decision and determine what it will mean for BSA troops in our LCMS congregations.”
Prior to the vote, on May 16, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison released a statement that voiced concerns over the BSA’s proposed policy change, explaining that “We suspect it [the policy change] will make it more challenging to care for young persons struggling with same-sex attraction and even open our churches to legal action.”
Day acknowledged that the vote moves scouting into “uncharted waters” since it “now allows the BSA to supersede the authority of local scouting chapters,” which could “cause a crisis of conscience for our pastors, parents and congregation members.”
In its official statement, the BSA announced that its National Council had “approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.”
However, the resolution “also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”
The BSA’s statement can be read in its entirety here.
Adriane Dorr is associate executive director for Strategic Communications for the LCMS.