A northern Idaho sheriff declined to renew his department’s charter with a local Boy Scout troop after the organization ended its ban on gay members.
Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger said his Christian faith and reliance on biblical teachings led him to his decision.
He had previously said that he would probably let the charter expire at the end of 2013 because the Boy Scouts were promoting a lifestyle that violated Idaho’s “crimes against nature” statute, which prohibits sodomy.
Tim McCandless, CEO of Boy Scouts of America-Inland Northwest Council, said the local organization remained strong because the sheriff’s office only partnered with the organization for one year.
Northwest Backcountry Rescue now charters the group, which has 22 active scouts and 15 adult volunteers.
It had been chartered by the Kootenai County Search and Rescue council until 2012, when the sheriff’s department took over the charter.
Charters help recruit scout volunteer leaders and provide meeting space and oversight, and McCandless said charters are typically not offered to government groups.
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