In a move not wholly unexpected, the Mormon church and the Boy Scouts of America announced late Tuesday they are parting ways after a 100-year association.
The break comes following several moves by the Boy Scouts over the last few years than run contrary to several tenants of Mormon belief.
In 2015, the Boy Scouts said it was OK for scout troop leaders to be gay. And in 2017, the organization allowed girls to join scout troops.
A few weeks ago, the organization announced it was changing the name “Boy Scouts of America” to “Scouts BSA.”
The joint statement notes the Mormon church will end its relationship with the Boys Scouts on Dec. 31, 2019, and create its own youth programs for boys and girls.
“The initiative is designed to allow local leaders, families and even the young people themselves to customize their efforts, while providing service opportunities and activities, fostering healthy relationships and supporting communities,” the church said.
The Mormon boys leaving the Boy Scouts represent about 19 percent of the Boy Scout’s two million members.
In North Dakota, the church says it has just over 11,000 members in 24 congregations statewide.