Presbyterian clergy call for end to ban on gay scouts

Clergy from the Presbyterian Church (USA) are joining the United Church of Christ and United Methodist Church in calling on the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts and leaders.

Rev. Dr. Chris Iosso and Rev. Patrick Heery, who both spent years participating in the Boy Scouts and are both Eagle Scouts, wrote jointly:

WE are Eagle Scouts. We are Christians. We are ministers ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). And we support the full inclusion of gay, bisexual, and transgender boys in the Boy Scouts of America. For us, there is no contradiction. There is no way for us to be true to our oath as Eagle Scouts without affirming the dignity and inclusion of all God’s children. We do not set aside our morality in making this decision; we embrace it. This is a moral choice.

They have created a petition on Groundswell asking the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay, bisexual, and transgender scouts and leaders, stating that "lifting the ban will provide an opportunity for Scouts all over this great nation to discuss and wrestle with questions [of inclusion]—to do so bravely and openly as leaders for today."

Yesterday was "Scout Sunday," which is meant to mark the founding of the Boy Scouts of America. Scouts are encouraged to wear their uniforms to church and help with the services in a variety of ways. Next Saturday is "Scout Sabbath," for scouts who observe Sabbath on Saturdays. Often, troops sponsored by houses of worship are recognized on these days for their service and commitment to their communities.

Like the United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church (USA), many Christian denominations, as well as other religious traditions, have changed their policies and now welcome LGBT members. It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to do the same.