Faith Leaders Mull Implications of Boy Scout Vote

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Supporters are celebrating Friday after the Boy Scouts of America decided voted to lift its ban on openly gay Scouts.

"We want every kid to have a place where they belong, to learn and grow and feel protected," Boy Scouts of America President Wayne Perry said.

Former pack leader Jennifer Tyrell applauded the decision.

"This is what we've been working for. It's a small step in the right direction, but it's huge in another way," Tyrell said.

But the change could be a major blow to an organization with a motto calling on young men to be "morally straight."

***What will be the national impact of the Boy Scouts' decision? Dr. Russell Moore, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, addresses that question and more on the Morning News, May 24.

Faith groups sponsor 70 percent of units nationwide and many, like the Catholic Church and Southern Baptists, say they will not give up core beliefs to stay with the Scouts.

Conservative activist John Stemberger says the loss of such church groups would devastate the organization.

"I think you'll see a mass exodus not only of major denominations but of common sense parents saying, 'We can't trust Scouting anymore.' There's not that moral consistency in the program," Stemberger predicted.

"I've heard several boys say 'I'm done,' and they'll be within a year of getting their Eagle," Scout mom Cindy Willard said. "And getting your Eagle is a very, very difficult thing to do."

"I think that sexual discussion needs to be at home with the parents and not at the Boy Scouts," Brad Kiser, a parent of a Cub Scout, said.

The change will go into effect next year.

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