Alternative scouting group rejects openly gay youths

Sept. 9, 2013 at 3:02 PM
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NASHVILLE, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Trail Life USA , started as an alternative to the Boy Scouts, says more than 1,000 people attended the group's inaugural convention in Tennessee.

The creation of Trail Life USA was spurred after more than 60 percent of the Boy Scouts' 1,400-member national council voted in May to allow openly gay youths to join, CNN reported Monday.

At its inaugural convention over the weekend in Nashville, Trail Life said it expected to become a "premier" organization for Christian boys and young men.

It "will be inclusive of boys, regardless of religion, race, national origin or socioeconomic status, and accept boys who are experiencing same-sex attractions or gender confusion," the group said in a statement.

"However, it will not admit youth who are open or avowed about their homosexuality, and it will not admit boys who are not 'biologically male' or boys who wish to dress and act like girls," the statement added.

Trail Life will formally get under way in 2014.

More than 70 percent of faith-based organizations sponsor Boy Scout chapters. The Boy Scouts' change in its stance on gay scouts was endorsed by the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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