Christian Leaders Urges Boy Scouts to 'Protect Moral Nurture for Young People'

( [email protected] ) May 22, 2013 05:56 AM EDT

Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America are set for a final vote Thursday on a proposal to end a ban on openly gay scouts while continuing the ban on gay adult scout leaders.

More than 50 U.S. Christians leaders have signed a joint statement on May 20 to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), asking the organization to continue its current policy on gay scouts.

"We strongly support the Boy Scouts of America current prohibition on open homosexuality and retaining it without revision," the statement reads. "Nearly 70 percent of BSA troops are hosted by churches and religious institutions. Upholding traditional morality is vital for sustaining this partnership, for protecting Scout members, and for ensuring BSA has a strong future.”

The statement is signed by officials of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, American Anglican Council, the North American Lutheran Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church and several Pentecostal denominations, among others. They represent churches whose memberships include over 20 million members.

"A proposal from the BSA board to prohibit ‘discrimination’ based on ‘sexual orientation or preference’ for BSA members potentially would open the Scouts to a wide range of open sexual expressions,” wrote the group. “In our current culture, it is more important than ever for our churches to protect and provide moral nurture for young people and for the Scouts. We implore members of the upcoming BSA Council to affirm the BSA's present policy, which the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed, and which has served BSA well."