August 14, 2013 at 4:20 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Alaska church evicts scout troops
boy scouts, gay news, Washington Blade

An Anchorage church dropped its sponsorship of Boy Scouts of America troops. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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