by: Graham Johnson Updated:
SEATTLE - A priest who questions the genetic origin of homosexuality is under fire for cutting ties with the Boy Scouts because they now allow gay members.
A spokesman for the group Catholics United says a letter by Father Derek Lappe of Our Lady Star of the Sea explaining why the parish would no longer host a scout troop is the most "egregious" example of "blatant ignorance" it has seen across the country on the issue.
On Friday, members of Catholics United delivered a petition with about 5,500 names to Seattle Archbishop Peter Sartain calling on Sartain to condemn bigotry in parishes.
Tee Earls, a gay Catholic Eagle Scout, described Lappe's letter as "certainly uncalled for and also spiritually damaging. It's a dereliction of Catholic stewardship by those who are supposed stewards."
Lappe's letter to his parishioners cites research dating between 1962 and 1999 to argue that people are not born gay. He claims homosexuality results from things like poor parenting and dislike of team sports.
Lappe wrote, "It is cruel and abusive and absolutely contrary to the Gospel to in any way confirm a teenager in the confusion of same-sex attraction, which is what the New Boy Scout policy will do."
A spokesman for Sartain said the Catholics United petition would be taken "under advisement."
Our Lady Star of the Sea is the only known parish in the Seattle archdiocese to cut ties with the Boy Scouts because of the new policy.