The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Wednesday that it will maintain its affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, averting what could have been a major blow to the youth organization, the Associated Press and The New York Times report. Mormon leaders had raised the prospect of severing the church's longstanding links to scouting last month after the national nonprofit lifted a ban on openly gay adults serving as troop leaders.
In a statement, the church said it had received assurances from the Boy Scouts that troops chartered by faith groups retain the right to appoint leaders in accordance with their religious values. The Mormon Church is the largest sponsor of scouting units, chartering troops that account for nearly one in five scouts. The church said it is still considering establishing its own youth program, particularly to serve its expanding membership in countries where the Boy Scouts is not active.