Area Boy Scouts Respond to Possibly Allowing Gay Members

January 29, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America is expected to start allowing gay people to participate.

It will mark a major policy shift after a hundred years of excluding gays from being scouts and scout leaders.

The organization is planning to allow local scout troops to decide whether to continue the ban within their troops.

Eric Anderson, the father of one scout who was denied his Eagle award because he came out as gay, says the change is welcomed.

“It’s about time,” said Anderson. “One of the points of the Scout law is that you have to honest, you have to be trustworthy, and these kids have not been allowed to do that.”

The decision is getting some criticism from conservative groups. The president of the Family Research Council says allowing gays is “a serious mistake.”

Below is a statement from the Stonewall Jackson Area Council:

"The Stonewall Jackson Area Council is aware of the recent news story regarding the Boy Scouts of America Membership Policy discussion. Currently, this is an internal national policy discussion, and no decision has been made regarding this matter. Here is the current media statement from our National Council, BSA:

“For more than 100 years, Scouting’s focus has been on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.

“Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

"As a local council, we agree to support the decisions made by the volunteer national executive board. Our united focus is on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training."

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