United Church asks Boy Scouts to shift gay policy, supports transgendered churchgoers

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The United Church of Christ's General Synod urged the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban on openly gay leaders, while a separate action expressed support for transgendered persons in the church.

The Scouting issue came up in a resolution on gay youth. The statement backed congregations that want to preserve ties with the Boy Scouts, as well as those that choose to separate from Scouting.

''We recognize the powerful place the Boy Scouts have in our lives,'' especially in promoting citizenship, respect for the environment and respect for others, but Scouting's value of tolerance conflicts with its policy of exclusion, said delegate Leslie Hoffman of Bethlehem, Pa.

The head of the committee that prepared the transgender resolution, Lisa Alston of Fayetteville, Ga., said ''transgender people know God loves them; it is time for the UCC to say we love them, too.'' The resolution also denounced violence against transgendered people.

The United Church has 1.4 million members and is among the most liberal Christian denominations on gay issues.

http://www.ucc.org



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