A Minnesota church is ending its sponsorship of a Cub Scouts troop because of the Boy Scouts of America decision in May to allow gay youth to be scouts.

“I know it will come across that we’re not loving and we don’t want homosexuals around – and that’s not the message that we want conveyed,” Pastor Mark Loder of St. John Lutheran Church in Winsted told KSTP.

To the Delano Herald Journal, he said: “It’s often spun that we’re shunning homosexuals, and that’s not it, at all,” Loder said. “I, myself, have friends who are homosexual. But, they also know that I believe it is sinful behavior, no different than the sins I deal with on a daily basis.”

Loder said his church would look for a scouting alternative that actively bars gays from serving such as On My Honor. That group was created by John Helmberger, the president of the Florida Family Policy Council, a group that is opposed to LGBT rights in Florida.

He recently said that the Boy Scouts decision to allow gay scouts would “create a wave of boy-on-boy sexual abuse” as straight scouts will “be preyed upon” by their gay peers.

St. John Lutheran Church is part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

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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.


  1. I 'love' how they always resort to their nasty crystal ball predictions. Oh, and I say that with the same "love" the pastor loves gays with. smh

  2. It looks like Winsted is in the Crow River district of the Northern Star Council. Is Pastor Loder unaware of the Northern Star Council’s inclusive scouting policy? The Northern Star Council has not discriminated against gay scouts or troop leaders for over a decade.


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