LDS church applauds ruling on gay Scout leaders, but other Utah clergy differ
In the recent Supreme Court ruling, gays aren't allowed leadership positions in the Scouts because of their sexual orientation.
This ruling was applauded by the LDS church, which threatened to pull out its 410,000 Scouts from the program if it were forced to accept gay troop leaders.
"The point of The Boys Scouts of America is to be able to make their own choices," said Dave Rudie a district scout leader in Cache Valley and member of the LDS church. "To force anything upon them is wrong."
The Boy Scout code of honor states that a scout will be "morally straight."
However, there are some religions in Utah that don't feel the same as the LDS church.
"This was an extremely disappointing decision and frankly morally reprehensible. We have been fighting this issue for a long time," the Rev. Tom Goldsmith of the First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City said.
"We do not make any blanket judgments upon people because they're different; we feel that gays and lesbians have the same moral worth as other individuals," Goldsmith said.
The Episcopal Diocese of Utah has scouting troops through its individual parishes. However, the policy of the Episcopal Church states that it will not discriminate on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians are allowed to hold leadership positions.
"There is some wrong thinking in governments, churches and other institutions involving leadership positions," Pastor Barry Neese of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan said.
"No one should be limited because of their sexual orientation. They should have the same rights as others," Neese said.
"It's my feeling that homosexuals are being stereotyped as pedophiles, which is far from the truth."
Neese also feels if the BSA is a private organization, it should have the right to make limits on who they choose for their troop leaders. However if they receive funding from the state or federal government then they need to allow homosexuals in leadership positions.
"Without discussing the question of whether homosexuality is a good or bad, a sin or not, this comes down to whether a private organization had the right to choose its own leaders," said U.S. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah.