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Minn. church cuts ties with Boy Scouts after gay ban lifted

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A church in Winsted, Minn. is dropping its support for local Boy Scouts after the group voted last month to lift a ban on openly gay members.

KSTP reports St. John Lutheran Church severed ties with their local Scout charter, a pack that has grown to include about 40 Cub Scouts.

Rev. Mark Loder says that continued support of the Scouts would send the message that his parish condones homosexuality.

"I strongly feel that I need to stand on my convictions, and that's where the church has taken the stand, too," Loder tells the television station.

Loder is researching possible alternative programs including OnMyHonor, a group trying to recruit Scout members, parents and Scoutmasters.

About 70 percent of troops are sponsored by religious organizations and many, like St. John's, have already decided to end their affiliation with the Scouts.

Southern Baptist Convention, a network of more than 45,000 churches, lobbied to keep gay members out of scouting. NPR reports Southern Baptist leaders will take up the issue of whether churches should continue to support troops at their annual meeting in Houston this week.

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