Two Colorado Boy Scouts of America councils are merging before a split with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Denver Post reports the Boy Scouts' Denver Area Council announced Wednesday it has merged with the Western Colorado Council in Grand Junction.
The Boy Scouts opened to female, gay and transgender youths in recent years.
The church — widely known as the Mormon church — holds conservative social stances and will end its partnership with the organization Jan. 1, which is expected to draw away church members.
An official says the anticipated split with the church was not the sole reason for the merger, which will give western Scouts access to more programs and funding.
The two councils currently include 34,000 Scouts with about 6,000 church members.
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