By Gary Lloyd
First Baptist Church Trussville Associate Pastor Lance Pate said Monday that the church continues to be in discussions about the future of Boy Scouts Troop 128 in the wake of the Boy Scouts of America’s vote in May to rescind the ban on homosexual youth in the program.
“Although as a church we strongly disagree with the decision the BSA has made, we are in continued discussions with the leaders of Troop 128, which continues to meet on our campus on Mondays,” Pate said.
The new Boy Scouts of America policy is scheduled to go into effect in January 2014. The BSA’s national governing body voted in May to rescind the ban on homosexual youth in the program, saying that no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.
Pate said the church has not made any decisions regarding Troop 128. He said there will be at least one meeting in the future between troop leaders and church staff to discuss the new policy. Any future decision on the troop will likely be made by the church’s staff leadership and maybe some of the church’s deacons, Pate said.
“Together we are all trying to lead with grace and understand the overall ramifications this situation will have,” Pate said.
Pate said the issue is still very new and that churches all over the United States have made immediate decisions regarding their Boy Scouts troops. He said First Baptist is taking its time to understand all ramifications of the new policy.
“We love the Scouts,” Pate said. “We love what they have stood for and what they’ve done. They’ve just been such a vital part of our church.”
Trussville attorney Bill Bright in May returned his Eagle Scout badge to the Boy Scouts of America in the wake of the vote to allow openly gay scouts. Bright, 62, earned his Eagle Scout badge in the 1960s.
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