Irving, TX– The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding designed to provide guidance to Unitarian Universalist congregations who wish to charter scouting units.
The Boston-based UUA is the latest religious group to renew its relationship with the BSA following the Union for Reform Judaism and the United Church of Christ. This move towards re-establishing organizational ties is due to the BSA’s recent policy changes making scouting more inclusive of gay scouts and gay scout leaders.
The Rev. Mary Katherine Morn, a UUA senior staff member, signed the document with Michael Surbaugh, chief scout executive of the BSA, at BSA headquarters. Morn was accompanied by two Unitarian Universalist ministers who are also Eagle Scouts, the Rev. Aaron Stockwell of College Station, TX, and the Rev. Richard Gilbert of Rochester, NY.
Unitarian Universalists have a long history of supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) justice issues. The UUA opposed the BSA’s ban on openly gay members, which led to the dissolution of the relationship between the two organizations in the late 1990s.