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General Agency Official Says, "Yes" To Gay Scoutmasters - United Methodist Men Say "NO!"

A top official of the United Methodist Church -- sponsor of 11,738 scout units -- predicts its hierarchy likely will be asked soon to decide if the church's ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation applies to scouting.

Jane Hull Harvey - Assistant General Secretary, The Board of Church and Society:

"We believe nondiscrimination is the order of the day," Assistant General Secretary Jane Hall Harvey said yesterday, suggesting that if the Boy Scouts stand firm it could lead to a parting of the ways. "There's no way our church Supreme Court is not going to say that's the law of the church," citing declared Methodist support for "equal rights regardless of sexual orientation." -The Washington Times, August 11, 1999


The Rev. Thomas White Wolf Fassett, General Secretary
100 Maryland Avenue, N.E.
Washington, DC 20002-5664
(202) 488-5629
FAX (202) 488-5699

Legislative Hotline: 1-800-455-2645
Online staff directory

The church's Commission on United Methodist Men currently is engaged in a drive to more than triple the number of affiliated troops. The goal is to add Scout troops until there is one in all 37,000 Methodist churches.

Dr. Joseph L. Harris General Secretary, United Methodist Men

[T]he Rev. Joseph L. Harris, who heads the Methodist men's commission based in Nashville, Tenn...subscribes so strongly to "the traditional view" of banning both homosexuals and atheists from scouting that he joined the Mormon church in filing a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the Boy Scouts in the New Jersey case decided on Aug. 4.

Mr. Harris said in an interview he hoped that longtime Methodist support for the boys' programs would continue.

"I think it could be a danger, more to scouting than in the church," Mr. Harris said. "The dispute has come among the church hierarchy, about the issue of homosexuality." -The Washington Times, August 11, 1999


Dr. Joseph L. Harris, General Secretary
PO Box 860
Nashville, TN 37202-0860
Fax: (615)340-1770

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