Church kicks Boy Scouts out over ruling on gays - FOX 13 News

Church kicks Boy Scouts out over ruling on gays

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

You don't have to look far to find a bit of history inside Boy Scout Troop 4's scout hut on South Hyde Park Avenue. It's been home to the South Tampa troop for half-a-century.

That is, until now.

"We've been advised by Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church, which is our chartered organization for Troop 4, that they're not going to renew our charter," said BSA Troop 4 leader Brian Fitzgerald.

The church says it's for good reason. They're giving Troop 4 the boot due to the Boy Scouts of America's national policy change earlier this year to allow gay members.

"We do feel the scriptures speak very clearly about this issue in particular. So we felt like this policy was asking us to affirm something that we couldn't in good conscience affirm," said Holy Trinity Presbyterian Church Senior Minister Stephen Casselli.

Holy Trinity Presbyterian is giving the group until the end of December to move out. While scout families say the decision is drastic, church leadership feels the issue was forced upon them.

"This is not something we sought out. We're simply responding to a change that was brought on by the Boy Scouts and their policies," Casselli said Thursday.

Now, the troop is preparing to pack up more than 90 years of memories from the Hyde Park property. While the congregation just moved into the church four years ago, Troop 4's been hosted by the previous congregation since 1921.

"There's a lot of history. You can see it on the walls as you walk in the hut. Yeah, it's disappointing and hard to leave but we have no choice," Fitzgerald said Thursday.

Despite the set back, scout leaders say one thing's certain: "We will find another charter organization, I'm confident of that. We will find one and be rechartered by January 1st and in a new location obviously and going forward," Fitzgerald said.

Casselli says Holy Trinity Presbyterian talked to other churches within their denomination that were in the same situation. They said many of them are also pulling their Boy Scout sponsorships.

Troop 4 says they're already getting a lot of interest from different potential charter organizations. They say many of them are churches.

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