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Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2000 09:49:37 GMT
Per BSA 1998 Annual Report Traditional Scouts (pg 28)
Total Youth 3,383,569 - Total Units 121,948
Per BSA External Communications 1998 Y/E
Total LDS Youth 412,240 - Total Units 31,402
LDS Youth 12.2% of total Traditional Program
LDS Units 25.8% of total Traditional Units
Time Magazine, 5/1/00
But the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas, is controlled by another faction in the debate, those for whom "morally straight" definitely means sexually straight. In recent years, members of the Mormon church have become a powerful force within scouting.
Today nearly 10% of the members of the Boy Scouts Advisory Council live in Salt Lake City, Utah, home of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints. The Latter-day Saints constitute less than 2% of the U.S. population but 21% of the boys in the core Boy Scouts program, more than any other group.
The Latter-day Saints have been instrumental in helping defeat pro-gay initiatives in at least three states. [Actually, and technically speaking, they helped to pass anti-gay initiatives.] In 1995 Jack Goaslind Jr., a prominent church member who currently sits on the Scouts advisory council, said the church "would withdraw our charter membership" if scouting were required to admit gays.
Salt Lake Tribune, 4/26/00
If the Boy Scouts of America is forced to accept gays as scoutmasters, the LDS Church will withdraw from the organization and take more than 400,000 Scouts with it.
That's the contention of Salt Lake City attorney Von G. Keetch, who has filed a brief with the Supreme Court supporting the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexuals on behalf of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and four other religious organizations.
Last fall (September 20th to be exact) when one of the Leaders in the United Church of Christ went to Irving and was discussing their believes on the policy with Tom Deimler. They were asked by Mr. Deimler if they knew that every Mormon boy had to be a Scout?
This was puzzling to the UCC Representative since it *seemed* to be out of context since they were discussing the BSA's policy on gays.
In 1974 the Mormon doctrine of discrimination against blacks brought the Boy Scouts into a serious confrontation with the NAACP. The Boy Scouts of America did not discriminate because of religion or race, but Mormon-sponsored troops did have a policy of discrimination. On July 18, 1974, the Salt Lake Tribune reported: "A 12-year-old boy scout has been denied a senior patrol leadership in his troop because he is black", Don L. Cope, black ombudsman for the state, said Wednesday.
Mormon 'troop policy is that in order for a scout to become a patrol leader, he must be a deacon's quorum president in the LDS Church. Since the boy cannot hold the priesthood, he cannot become a patrol leader.' "
Shortly before Boy Scout officials were to appear in Federal Court Friday morning on charges of discrimination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a policy change which will allow black youths to be senior patrol leaders, a position formerly reserved for white LDS youths in troops sponsored by the church. An LDS Church spokesman said Friday under the "guidelines set forth in the statement, a young man other than president of the deacons quorum could (now) become the senior patrol leader if he is better qualified". - (Salt Lake Tribune, August 3, 1974).
Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball "had been subpoenaed to testify" in the suit (Ibid., Oct. 23), but on Nov. 7, 1974 the Tribune reported: "A suit claiming discrimination against blacks by the Boy Scouts of America was dismissed Wednesday in federal court...all parties to the suit..signed an agreement stating the alleged discrimination 'has been discontinued.'"