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Utah Boy Scout council says 83 percent of parents, leaders oppose lifting gay ban

Monday, March 25, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY — A survey finds that that 83 percent of Boy Scout leaders, parents and representatives from troops in the greater Salt Lake City area oppose lifting a ban on openly gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders.

The survey, conducted by the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America, was sent out via email ahead of an upcoming nationwide vote of all Boy Scout councils, and is separate from a recently announced nationwide survey being conducted by BSA’s national leadership.

The survey also found that of 4,600 people who have responded so far, 70 percent say they will be less involved or will quit Scouting if the ban ends. Fourteen percent say they would like to see a change in the policy.

But with a response rate of 11 percent — and a design that does not allow respondents to be anonymous — the survey may not represent the views of the 41,000 leaders and parents queried by the council, a University of Utah professor told the Salt Lake Tribune.

“Methodologically speaking, (11 percent) is an extremely low response rate,” said Andrew Jorgenson, a statistics professor at the University of Utah. “It can certainly increase the likelihood that the results are not representative of the broader population they’re trying to survey.”

According to Rick Barnes, the council’s Scouting executive, respondents are being identified by their email address, “to make sure that only those we sent surveys to can reply.”

That strategy “can certainly bias what the sample will look like,” Jorgenson said, “because clearly that could influence whether or not people will be willing to respond in the first place. That is research methods 101.”

Larry Love of Salt Lake City, a Scoutmaster and member of the LDS Church, said he was surprised by the 83 percent support for the ban. In his response to the survey, he supported lifting it, but said he will stay active in Scouting if the ban remains.

While Scouting representatives in other parts of the country might support openly gay leaders and members, Barnes said, membership and backers in Utah clearly want no change.

Barnes noted that “roughly 98 percent” of the Great Salt Lake Council’s troops are sponsored by the Mormon Church.

The Boy Scouts recently announced it was considering an end to its policy prohibiting gay scouts and gay and lesbian scout leaders. The Board is set to vote in May on the membership policy change.

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79 more reader comments:

  1. no they don’t….media BS!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:33pm
  2. Don’t vacation in Utah.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:33pm
  3. Maybe bc they’re Mormons or cultists?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:33pm
  4. 83 percent? anyone with a horribly closed mind/heart like that should be a ‘leader’ of nothing.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:33pm
  5. Then keep your nasty bigoted racist org…who needs you we can create our own…But don’t forget your WHITE SHEETS BOY SCOUTS…

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  6. well this is utah not exactly a liberal paradise.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  7. Hypocrites

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  8. In Utah! What a surprise! I’ll be the numbers are way way different here in Portland Oregon!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  9. funny, as I oppose 83% of those living in Utah

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  10. Bunch of HIPPOCRATES!!! I am ASHAMED to hear that cause I was in the Boy Scouts, makes me ANGRY

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  11. They have deep insecurities of their own or else they wouldnt discriminate against minority groups that havent done anything to harm their ‘way of life’

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:34pm
  12. exactly Zoe. duh for the headline

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:35pm
  13. … Thank thee homophobic/heterosexist/heirarchal/patriarchal Mormon Church! I-know-THEM: was-LDS-for 15-yrs. ’til they excommunicated me for “being Gay!”

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:35pm
  14. Well it figures, UTAH is probably the most homophobic state.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:35pm
  15. Uh, they’re all Mormon- what did you really expect?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:35pm
  16. The scare mongers have convinced a lot of people their children would be at risk. Don’t ever underestimate the ignorance and gullibility of the public.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:36pm
  17. It’s Utah, a primarily Mormon state……….. Religious tomfoolery to be found

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:36pm
  18. Same here.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:36pm
  19. mormon country – of course they want bigotry to stay

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:37pm
  20. *DISLIKE*

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:37pm
  21. Who cares what Utah has to say. Fuck em’!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:38pm
  22. and your point is? You’re in Utah, Mormons…there’s only one stronger cult.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:38pm
  23. Well, to be fair, Rich, dont talk down about Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama…Time to form a more perfect union, by allowing Americans like me the ability to form unions.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:38pm
  24. And just how many of those little boys will bend over and grease their OWN asses when they go out on missions, and BEG not to be ‘ratted out?’

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:38pm
  25. Well, then I say let the bigoted assholes band together in their tidy uniforms. They’ll be easier to spot and avoid.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:39pm
  26. well of course they do..they’re from UTAH!! Ugh

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:39pm
  27. shame

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:39pm
  28. Or Seattle Washington.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:40pm
  29. What do you expect in Utah which is run by mind control power trip freaks teaching the mormon religion made up by a psychotic?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:40pm
  30. Shame on them’

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:41pm
  31. That’s because it’s Utah which is crawling in mormons

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:42pm
  32. its a state full of wachjob cultists (aka Mormons). a church that didnt alow black clergy until a few decades ago. so that doesnt surprise me.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:42pm
  33. anywhere !

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:43pm
  34. If one seaches through the sky, looking for rain, they will find it.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:43pm
  35. the state with so many closeted gays….

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:44pm
  36. I’m sure if you polled the same people they have the same views on the words “Cheese and Crackers”

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:44pm
  37. Well as long as only a minority oppose discrimination, it must be the right thing to do.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:44pm
  38. Perhaps meeting bigotry with bigotry isn’t the best way to encourage loving discourse.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:45pm
  39. Well what do you expect it is Utah

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:46pm
  40. Duh. Not sure why this was even a survey.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:46pm
  41. Glad you are with us Hanford. Rock on!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:50pm
  42. You too Eric.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:50pm
  43. That’s Utah. The same poll would probably approve segregation and slavery!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:50pm
  44. Thus the “or” but I do agree.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:52pm
  45. Wha? More, “ugh”, from my “fellow” Christians. Nice.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:52pm
  46. Utah isn’t exactly representative of this country. The large population of Mormons ensured the outcome the scouts wanted. It would be like conducting this survey at Westboro baptist church. But it doesn’t matter where the survey occurs…does anyone REALLY think the scouts would admit it if the survey showed people are in favor of ending discrimination?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:53pm
  47. ok well then let them rot in hell with their brainwashed little boys and we can find a different group to have our children in . wtf

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:53pm
  48. They (those 83%) should probably not try to be gay…

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:55pm
  49. In Salt Lake City? Home of the Mormons? I bet they do, but so what? That’s like saying most of the boyscout leaders and parents in Vatican City oppose lifting ‘gay ban’. No surprises.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:56pm
  50. … “Hell-HATH-no FURY” like an EXCOMMUNICATED-GAY-MORMON!!! BEEN-a-GAY ACTIVIST since being thrown-OUT-in ’83, marching, singing (in thee Bflo. Gay Men’s Chorus), am an International, award-winning Print-Journalist of 40+ yrs. in the mainstream-&-gay media on both coasts (15-with “Billboard Magazine” in L.A., Vegas-&-WNY) & named 3-times to “Who’s Who in America – in the Media!” & reaffiliated with the Presbyterian Church, which is now pro-Gay!!! My 1st. book, about my career/life, is about-ALL-this & being considered for publication in L.A.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:57pm
  51. Why am I not at all surprised, the fact it’s Utah and mostly backed by Mormons couldn’t have any other outcome.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 5:58pm
  52. There goes my respect for Utah’s parents. Gays belong everywhere they are God’s children too. Shame on Utah for being so naive.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:00pm
  53. DUH! It’s Utha! It applies to their population only!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:02pm
  54. Mormonism is a cult.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:04pm
  55. the percentage of parents and leaders..do they all deserve trophies for being parents and leaders for being the best for all to emulate?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:06pm
  56. Utah is still a state? I thought it was a Mormon Camp?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:11pm
  57. Um… no shit. It’s fucking UTAH.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:14pm
  58. Both.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:14pm
  59. Well duhhh, that is Mormon mecca therw. Were any of us surprised by the outcome. How about they redo the survey in California

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:20pm
  60. Well, of course they don’t want to lift the ban–they’re mormons. They’re afraid of their own bodies.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:25pm
  61. The Utah numbers don’t reflect public opinion except that it reflects the strength of the hinges on the CLOSET DOOR!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:25pm
  62. There’s no difference between the two–mormonism IS a cult.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:26pm
  63. It’s not simply a matter of Utah, in 2010 Mormons made up over 15.3% of all Boy Scouts. Each church and most all wards have scout troops one of the reasons for this is to give young boys and men something to focus on other than hormones and girls. This is also one of the reasons most all LDS churches have gyms in them to also channel them into non co-ed sports. Baptists and other Christian churches also have begun supporting church based Boy Scout troops. The Scouts themselves along with homosexuallity do not allow members to be athiest or agnostic and until the later half of the 21st century racial segregation was the normal opperating practice. It would seem to me that while Scoutings foundation is in conservative christianity there will be no movement on the gay issues. Camp Fire Girls and Boys anyone?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:27pm
  64. Mormonism freakin hates on everyone that’s not them

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:38pm
  65. Before everyone gets angry…I am gay, I do not agree with intolerance for any reason particularly sexual orientation AND I simply think that the best what to meet a challenge like this is to understand the factors that keep it in place. Slinging mud is just adding more intolerance and hate to the fire and solves nothing in the long run.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:42pm
  66. 11% return…and in Utah. What’s the story here?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:45pm
  67. What a shock–NOT. Mormons are second to Romans in their virulent homophobia.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 6:52pm
  68. This is Utah what about the whole country?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:23pm
  69. Only in Utah!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:25pm
  70. Sad.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:31pm
  71. Of course they are opposed, it’s Utah !!!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:41pm
  72. Ever read anything about your daughter’s softball coach and statistics?

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 7:41pm
  73. Come to the Bronx and say this kind of shit and you would get shanked. We don’t do well with inequality!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 8:09pm
  74. F*ck Utah & F*ck the Mormons.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 8:12pm
  75. HELLO…IT’S UTAH!!??¿??

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:21pm
  76. There are already gay scouts in scouts. Idiots.

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:26pm
  77. Boo!!!

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:31pm
  78. it is not and should not always be about a majority when we are talking about what is right

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:49pm
  79. Not a surprise coming from the epicenter of the Mormons so they are the exception

    Posted on Monday, March 25, 2013 at 10:58pm