- (Photo: REUTERS/Darrell Byers)
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has passed a resolution urging the Boy Scouts of America's leadership to not change their policy banning openly gay members.
SBC leadership unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday as the BSA continues to mull over the possibility of changing its controversial national policy.
"… we call on and urge the representatives of the approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America courageously to stand strong on their moral convictions and vote to reject the proposed resolution from the national Scouting leaders, retaining the current policy of moral rectitude that has marked the Boy Scouts of America for more than one hundred years," reads the resolution.
"… the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention express[es] its deep dismay and disappointment at the conduct of any Boy Scout leader who openly or surreptitiously built support for their proposal to reverse the Scouts historic position on this issue, thereby alienating conservative religious bodies that sponsor the vast majority of Boy Scout units…"
The SBC EC resolution also spoke highly of the Royal Ambassadors, a Baptist youth organization for boys in grades 1-6 founded in 1908 by the Women's Missionary Union.
"That, irrespective of the decision of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, we continue to lift up and commend Royal Ambassadors as a Christian values-based organized that, for 105 years, has taught Christian values to boys in Southern Baptist churches," reads the resolution in part.
Last month, the Boy Scouts of America announced that they were going to reconsider their national policy banning openly gay leaders and members. The new proposal would strike down the national ban and allow local BSA chapters to decide whether or not to admit openly gay members.
"This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs," wrote Deron Smith, BSA's director of Public Relations.
Earlier this month the BSA announced that they would be delaying their decision on the possible change of policy until May, stating that they wanted "a more deliberate review of its membership policy."
"To that end, the National Executive Board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting's membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers' work on a resolution on membership standards," said BSA officials in a statement.
"The approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council will take action on the resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May 2013."