AUSTIN, Texas (KRON) — A Texas scoutmaster is drawing fire for saying he would treat gay boy scouts in his troop like criminals, but do it “in Christian love.”
Marble Falls Troop 284 leader Thom Fairleigh says his position is a compromise after the Boy Scouts of America agreed to stop barring openly gay teens from participating in scouting. Troop 284 is sponsored through the First Baptist Church of Marble Falls.
“It’s just like if a boy came to me and said he’s a thief – in Christian love I would say ‘You’ve got a problem and that we definitely will not approve of it’ and we would send him to get pastoral counseling,” Fairleigh told the Highlander newspaper.
A spokesman for the Boy Scouts says it’s more appropriate to deal with individual families when counseling openly gay teen boys.
“We believe homosexual sexual activity, not orientation, to be a sin,” church pastor Ross Chandler said. “This will be the moral standard in regard to human sexuality communicated within our Troop/Pack/Crew 284 whenever conversations arise in the natural exchanges between leaders and scouts.”
Still the scouts say it appears neither the troop nor the church are doing anything wrong.
“It is within the rights of that chartering partner to incorporate their religious beliefs and their religious teachings into the scouting program,” spokesman Charles Mead said.
While the Boy Scouts now allow gay scouts, openly LGBT adults are still banned from participating in scouting.
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