The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Scout policy costs support

Pulling support from the Boy Scouts because of their anti-gay policy may hurt youth more than the organization, says Sherman Martell, an ELCA pastor and chair of the Lutheran Committee on Civic Youth Agency Relationships, a pan-Lutheran group: "The issue [behind the June Supreme Court decision] is, 'Does an organization have the right to determine who its members are?'"

The ruling held that scouts have a constitutional right to exclude homosexuals. Support for the troops has since slipped: several cities said they could no longer meet in parks and schools; some United Ways and corporations cut financial support. Martell worries about the impact on inner-city or at-risk youth.


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