SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- The Mormon church, the nation's largest sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America, announced it will continue its longtime affiliation with the organization despite its decision to allow openly gay leaders in the ranks.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said it "will go forward as a chartering organization of BSA, and as in the past, will appoint scout leaders and volunteers who uphold and exemplify church doctrine, values and standards."
In July, the scouts announced a policy change that put an end to the organization's official ban on gay leaders, allowing some troops, such as ones led by churches, to "select local units... with similar beliefs." Following the decision, some Mormon leaders said they were troubled by the change.
In its announcement, the church's Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said the Boy Scouts have made positive contributions to "thousands of its young men and boys and to thousands of other youth."
"As leaders of the church, we want the Boy Scouts of America to succeed in its historic mission to instill leadership skills and high moral standards in youth of all faiths and circumstances, thereby equipping them for greater success in life and valuable service to their country," the church said.
The loss of LDS sponsorship could have had dire financial consequences on the scouts. The church is the nation's largest scouting sponsor, serving 437,160 boys in 37,933 troops.