The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a longstanding partner of Boy Scouts of America (BSA) but which has grown uneasy with BSA's increasingly liberal stances on gay and transgender issues, took a step away from the organization Thursday. The church insisted that the decision had nothing to do with LGBT issues, but with the needs of older boys.
"As part of the Church's ongoing effort to evaluate and improve its service to families and young people worldwide, the Church will no longer charter Varsity or Venturing units with the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada effective January 1, 2018," the church's office of the First Presidency declared in a letter Thursday.
"We express sincere appreciation and gratitude to all adult leaders who have supported young men in these programs and are grateful for our long-standing and continuing partnership with the Boy Scouts of America and Scouts Canada," the letter added. "Cub Scout and Boy Scout programs will continue to be chartered through local wards and branches."