An alternative Boy Scouts group touting “traditional Christian values” is growing in numbers after the organization started including transgender members, according to Thursday reports.
Trail Life USA, a Christian outdoor leadership club, has seen its popularity rise in the aftermath of the Boy Scouts’ decision to be more inclusive to the gay and transgender community, reports KVUE. The group, which has 26,000 members and over 700 troops, only allows “biologically male children” in to the program.
“We provide an option for families that want traditional Christian values,” Mark Hancock, Trail Life USA CEO, said. The group allows males of all religions to apply, but the group takes a traditional Christian perspective on sexuality.
“Within these limits, we grant membership to adults and youth who do not engage in or promote sexual immorality of any kind, or engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the program,” the group states. Hancock explains that people can experience same-sex attractions, but cannot act on them.
“They may experience same-sex attraction,” Hancock told KVUE. “The place we draw the line is the Biblical truth that then means that you are a homosexual and you are going to then behave that way.”
The Boy Scouts, which still boasts 2.3 million members, faced some backlash earlier this year when they invited transgender boys, biological females, to join the Scouts.
“We will continue to be in dialogue with Boy Scouts of America in hopes that they will recognize their error and rededicate themselves to serving the needs of the boys in the organization,” the Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis said about the announcement.
The Boy Scouts explained they made the change after realizing that gender identity has become more complex in recent years.
“As a result, the Boy Scouts of America will accept and register boys in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application. Our organization’s local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child,” the organization told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
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