The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has thus far declined to comment on the BSA’s deliberations on potential policy changes regarding gay members and leaders and has said they are monitoring the situation. This website is not in any way affiliated with the church, and the views expressed are my own, however the following official church guidelines are very illustrative, as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is far more inclusive than most people, members of the church included, realize. Openly gay members who live the same law of chastity as heterosexual members are welcomed within the church and are not denied any of the blessings other single members may receive.
“Though we don’t know everything we know enough to be able to say that same-sex attraction in and of itself is not a sin. The feeling, the desire is not classified the same as homosexual behavior itself… When people have those desires and same-sex attractions, our attitude is “stay with us.” I think that’s what God is saying “Stay with me.” And that’s what we want to say in the Church: “Stay with us.” Let’s work together on this and find friendship and commonality and brotherhood and sisterhood, here more than anywhere. It’s important that there be love, and that there be hope. Love is not to say acceptance or endorsement, but it is to say inclusion and not ostracism. We want to be with you and work together.” (Elder D. Todd Christoferson, “Purpose of This Website.” www.mormonsandgays.org)
21.4.6 Homosexual Behavior and Same-Gender Attraction
“If members feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances.” (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. “21.4.6 Homosexual Behavior and Same-Gender Attraction,” Handbook 2: Administering the Church.)
Under current LDS policy openly gay members of the church may be scout leaders, youth leaders, temple workers, etc… Openly gay members of the church are welcomed in our youth groups as leaders and youth participants. The same standard applies to all members of the church whether they self identify as gay or not – complete chastity.
It is my hope the Boy Scouts of America will adopt a policy of inclusion similar to that found in the church, welcoming leaders and scouts who openly acknowledge same gender attraction, and in the process be respectful of individual sponsoring institutions’ standards. The BSA is reaching out in the next few days with a survey to scouters and volunteers involved in the scouting program. Make your voice heard.
Part 1 of this discussion is here