Idaho Boy Scout Official Says New Rule Allowing Gay Leaders Won’t Change Much

Jul 28, 2015

Credit Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay troop leaders and volunteers Monday. The controversial ban was something some conservative groups in Idaho wanted to keep in place. However, many religion-based troops are expected to take advantage of a compromise that's expected to result in few actual changes. 

In eastern Idaho, about 90 percent of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by local churches, many of them Mormon. The LDS Church has been apprehensive about allowing gay troop leaders.

But Clark Farrer – who leads the Grand Teton Council of Scouts – says the new policy will change little in the region he oversees. He says that’s because the rule still lets groups that charter troops decide who they’ll let lead and volunteer.

“Scouting will continue on just as it has been," says Farrer, "because there will be little to no change relative to leaders that will be selected by our chartering organizations to serve as leaders within the scouting program.”

The Mormon Church released a statement reaffirming its right to not let gay scout leaders run groups sponsored by the church.

Farrer says he’s had to reassure some parents who didn’t understand this part of the policy. 

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