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Spencer Hall, KSL.com

LDS Church responds to Boy Scouts’ transgender decision

By Josh Furlong  |  Posted Jan 31st, 2017 @ 3:10pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Tuesday following the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow transgender children into the organization.

The LDS Church said in the statement that it is “studying the announcement,” but that Boy Scouts of America has informed all religious organizations that they “will be able to organize their troops in a way fully consistent with their religious beliefs.”

The church maintained that it will continue to look at the programs its youth are involved in and will continue to “look for ways to better serve its families and young people worldwide.”

On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America said it would no longer base a child’s gender off of a birth certificate, but would allow enrollment into the organization based on the gender a parent lists on the application to become a Scout. The Scouts added that its birth certificate approach “is no longer sufficient as communities and state laws are interpreting gender identity differently, and these laws vary widely from state to state.”

In 2013, the Boys Scouts opened up to boys who identified as gay; however, gay leaders would not be able to volunteer in the organization. The Boys Scouts later lifted its ban on adult leaders who identified as gay in July 2015.

The LDS Church later said that it was “troubled” by the 2015 decision and would re-examine its relationship with the organization. A month later, the church said it would remain with the Scouting program and that it wanted to see the Boy Scouts “succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances.”

LDS Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in 2015 that the church “has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation.”

At that time, church officials said the church would “go forward” in chartering with the boy scouts and would continue to “appoint Scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify Church doctrine, values and standards.”

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