SALT LAKE CITY — The lifting of the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adult leaders has drawn a sharp response from the largest sponsor of Scout units.

The Mormon church, which serves more than 427,000 boys in nearly 38,000 scout units, says the admission of openly gay leaders is “inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church.”

One possibility, church officials suggest, would be for the Mormons to form their own worldwide scouting movement.

After the Mormons, the next largest sponsors of U.S. Scout units are the United Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Methodists’ General Commission on United Methodist Men said decisions on whether or not to accept gay adult leaders would rest with individual churches.

Catholic Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston, South Carolina, who helps oversee Catholic scouting programs, said he and his colleagues are “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll be able to continue choosing scout leaders that meet their standards.

CLOVIS, N.M. — Officials at an Air Force base in New Mexico are denying claims that they improperly promoted an upcoming religious event.

The Clovis News Journal reports that emails about an Aug. 15 Gospel Explosion event planned for the Cannon Air Force Base chapel said “please post everywhere and spread the word.”

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says a master sergeant and first lieutenants sent emails to seven people who later contacted the organization. In a news release Thursday the group said the emails could be construed as supporting or endorsing religion.

Base public affairs representative Lt. Erin Recanzone says the invitation was promoted like any other base-hosted event, including standup comics and golf tournaments.

LOUISVILLE — A Kentucky sheriff’s office says a man has died from a snake bite he suffered during a church service.

The Bell County sheriff’s office said Monday that 60-year-old John David Brock of Stoney Fork was handling the snake during a Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Jenson. Authorities say Brock was bitten on his left arm and refused medical treatment.

The sheriff’s office says Brock went to his brother’s home, where he later died. The local coroner pronounced him dead.

Snake handling at religious services is most common in Southern Appalachian states.

Associated Press