ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A local church’s decision to no longer sponsor local Boy Scouts of America troops over its opposition to the inclusion of gay scouts has sparked controversy.
The Anchorage Daily News reported on August 8 the Anchorage Baptist Temple’s decision has left Boy Scout Troop 1316 and Cub Scout Pack 316 without a place to meet. Rev. Jerry Prevo, who is the congregation’s chief pastor, referenced the Bible as he defended his decision to the newspaper.
“No homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God,” he said.
Phyllis Rhodes, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Anchorage and the LGBT advocacy group Identity Inc., criticized the church’s decision.
“It’s unfortunate that he lets his bigotry displace children,” she told the Anchorage Daily News. “It’s hard enough to be a kid and then to have an organization that you are a part of kicked out of their space.”
The Boy Scouts of America in May approved a resolution that lifted the ban on gay scouts. LGBT rights advocates criticized the motion because it did not call for an end of the prohibition of openly gay troop leaders.