Auburn troop leaving Boy Scouts over gay decision

AUBURN, Wash. - After more than 50 years in scouting, Scoutmaster Jim Brass is feeling sick about what his troop is doing.

"Our hearts are broken over having to walk away," he says.

His troop, No. 835 from the Auburn and Pacific area, is leaving Boy Scouts of America because of the national organization's decision to allow openly gay members as of Jan. 1.

Brass tells KOMO Newsradio that the decision was made after months of consideration and was led by the boys and girls in the troop.

"The kids just were completely uncomfortable with having kids in the Scout troop that were actively homosexual," he said.

Brass says the Boy Scouts started out based on biblical values, and the decision to allow gays he believes goes against those values.

It was in May of this year that more than 60 percent of Boy Scouts of America's National Council members voted to allow gay members to join.

Troop 835 will still meet under a new name and new program called Help Northwest Youth Corps.

Brass adds that their mission and goals are the same.

"We'll continue to serve the community, doing disaster response and help run a food bank and a clothing bank," he says, "but we can't compromise on what the Bible teaches."

Brass says he's hopeful the Boys Scouts will reverse its decision and they can return.

He tells KOMO Newsradio that two boys in the troop are joining up with another local troop so they can still work toward becoming Eagle Scouts.

As for the controversy the decision to leave may bring, Brass says he's OK with that.

"We don't hate any person, but rather are told to love people and hate sin," Brass says. "It doesn't matter if it's adultery, homosexuality or drugs, it's not what God desires of us."