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Rev. Michelle's Message May 9, 2024

And the hits just keep coming! Last week the United Methodist Church voted to overturn their prohibition on gay clergy and same-sex marriage, and this week another huge organization has also made a landmark decision to foster more inclusion of LGBTQ people.


After 114 years of being called the “Boy Scouts,” the organization is changing its name to “Scouting America” in an effort to become more inclusive. The new scouting organization will welcome girls as well as gay youth. “In the next 100 years we want any youth in America to feel very, very welcome to come into our programs,” said Roger Krone, the new president and chief executive officer of the scouting organization.


Officially, the scouts had begun admitting gay youth in 2013 and ended their ban on gay adult leaders in 2015. They began admitting girls in 2018, and incidentally some 6,000 girls have already achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout! But declining participation and bankruptcy precipitated by sexual abuse lawsuits have caused the scouts to further reconsider their policies to become even more inclusive by giving their organization a “non-gendered” name.


This is another victory for the LGBTQ community and we should celebrate this decision as representing great progress in the way we think about sexual orientation and sexual identity. Now young people won’t have to be either a “girl scout” or a “boy scout,” but just a “scout,” and therefore I think this change will also pave the way for inclusion of nonbinary and trans youth.


I know there’s a lot of depressing news out there right now, but please don’t forget that even as we seem to backslide in some areas, we are indeed making progress in others!


Krone declared, “It sends this really strong message to everyone in America that they can come to this program, they can bring their authentic self, they can be who they are and they will be welcomed here.” Amen to that!


Many Blessings,

Rev Michelle


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