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US: New York Boy Scouts troop rejects exclusion of gay adult scout leaders

Joseph McCormick April 23, 2013
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A local troop of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in central New York, has commended the organisation for proposing to lift its ban on gay members, but has rejected the notion that it may maintain the ban on adult scout leaders.

Last Friday, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced it would propose to members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas next month lifting the ban on gay youth scouts, but maintaining a ban on gay adult leaders.

The BSA said it had changed course after receiving the results of surveys sent out this year to members of America’s scouting community.

The Longhouse Council issued a statement urging the BSA’s National Council to allow gay members, volunteers and staff, and urged the importance of adult scout leader being able to serve openly.

“The Longhouse Council views this change in policy as a significant step forward,” read the statement.

It went on to cite the proposal by the BSA, which would exclude “openly gay or avowed homosexual adult leaders.

“We disagree with continuation of this policy,” the Longhouse Council said. “The Longhouse Council views this as an unfortunate shortcoming that runs contrary to our official recommendation that Scouting – youth and leadership – be open to all regardless of sexual orientation as has been BSA policy in the past.”

The Longhouse Council will “be encouraging the National Scout Council to adopt a membership policy that is consistent for both youth and adults,” continued the statement.

In July 2012, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

The Boy Scouts of America is currently embroiled in a debate over whether to lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff. In February, it delayed a vote on whether or not to lift the ban until May “due to the complexity of the issue”.

A poll released in February found that a majority of US voters thought the Boy Scouts of America should drop its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff.

Related topics: Americas, Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts of America, BSA, longhouse council, New York, Scouts, US

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