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Churches prepare for Boy Scouts opening to gay youth

Churches prepare for Boy Scouts opening to gay youth

DALLAS (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New Year’s Day, a change that has prompted creation of a Christian alternative.

Some churches are dropping their sponsorship of Scout units because of the new policy. But massive defections haven’t materialized and most major sponsors, including Mormon churches, are maintaining ties. Many Catholic parishes also will continue to sponsor Scout units, though a few have considered cutting ties.

The Southern Baptist Convention made clear its disappointment with the new youth policy, but left the decision on whether to cut ties up to local churches.

Some parents and leaders have decided to switch to Trail Life USA, which declares itself “a Christian adventure, character, and leadership program for young men.” Among them is Ron Orr, a Texas business consultant who is signing up local units for the group. He says he has more than two dozen groups “pre-chartered” for a Jan. 1 launch date.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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