50th Anniversary of Boy Scouts of America (1960)

An evangelical church in northwestern Minnesota told a Cub Scout pack that it is ending its charter at the end of the year because the national Boy Scouts ended its ban on gay scout leaders, the Grand Forks Herald reports.

Lifespring Church in Crosby notified pack leader Michelle Hage last week that the church would no longer host the Cub Scout pack. “They asked us to leave because it was against their religious beliefs,” she told the Herald. “I was shocked, I didn’t even see it coming.”

Pastor Eric Anderson has refused media interviews about the decision.

David Trehey, scout executive of the Central Minnesota Council, told KSTP that the Cub Scout pack will find a new home. “I think we’ll find someone as soon as possible,” Trehey said. “I don’t think we will wait until the end of the year.

The new Scouts’ policy allows churches to create their own faith-based standards, and Lifespring Church could have allowed the Cub Scout pack to remain at the church and still banned members of the LGBT community from volunteering.

According to the Boy Scouts’ new policy, churches are given the opportunity to maintain and develop their own leadership standards based on religious principles. This means Lifespring Church could have continued to charter the scouts without homosexual leaders.

Lifespring is part of the Evangelical Free Church of America which opposes rights for LGBT people. Lifespring itself opposes same-sex marriage. For example, the Pastor Anderson wrote on the church’s blog: “In the case of a same-sex marriage, the marriage is obviously wrong, in every case. There are no circumstances in which a man and a man or a woman and a woman can be morally involved in a sexual union.”

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Andy Birkey

Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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