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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB/AP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention has approved a resolution opposing the Boy Scouts of America's new policy allowing gay Scouts.
The resolution also calls on the Boy Scouts to remove executive and board leaders who tried to allow gays as both members and leaders without consulting the many religious groups that sponsor Scout troops.
While the resolution does not recommend that Southern Baptists drop ties with the Scouts, it expresses support for those churches and families that decide to do so.
It also encourages churches and families who choose to remain with the Scouts to work toward the reversal of the new membership policy.
Delegates to the annual meeting of the nation's largest Protestant denomination voted on the resolution on Wednesday in Houston.
Late last month, Southeast Christian Church said it would not renew its charter with Boy Scout Troop 212. The pastor says he did not desire to get caught up in the new direction of the Boy Scouts. Troop 212 and Cub Scout Pack 212 have until the end of the year to relocate.
Local leaders with the Boy Scouts' Lincoln Heritage Council say they're looking for a new organization to charter.
Also last month, Dr. Albert Mohler, President of Louisville's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a former Boy Scout, said the change would lead to disaster for the organization. "The Boy Scouts of America have fundamentally redefined the organization," he said. "For the Boy Scouts to make this decision, it basically normalizes homosexuality within the Boy Scouts as far as sexual orientation," Mohler told WDRB.
Earlier this month, pastors at Severns Valley Baptist Church in Elizabethtown, and Rineyville Baptist Church say they will not renew their charters with the Boy Scouts of America when they expire later in the year. An associate pastor at Severns Valley, Jeff Wilson, said the new policy does not adhere to Biblical and church standards. The vote not to renew the charters, he said, was unanimous.
In all, about 70 percent of the 116,000 Scout units in the United States are sponsored by religious organizations. Many of those groups have decided to continue sponsoring troops.
The Southern Baptist Convention already has a youth group for boys called Royal Ambassadors. There could be a call to expand that program.