Don't kick the Boy Scouts out of church for welcoming gay youth

Posted: Aug. 8, 2013

Now that the Boy Scouts of America have stopped excluding gay youth, some anti-gay extremists are trying to kick Boy Scout troops out of Catholic parishes.

The latest example comes from small-town Wisconsin, where Boy Scout Troop 90 has been meeting at Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Altoona for more than 20 years. The troop doesn't even have any gay members, but the local parish priest is nevertheless kicking out the boy scouts because of the Boy Scouts of America's national policy allowing gay youth to participate. The same thing is happening to another troop in the same diocese.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that gays and lesbians "must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity," and that "every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided." And numerous Catholic bishops, including the official liaison to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, have said that the scouts' new policy doesn't prevent parishes from hosting scout troops.

It's time for the local bishop to stand up to the anti-gay extremists in his diocese -- and beyond -- by publicly announcing that parishes in his diocese may not expel Boy Scout troops.

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