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Local Boy Scout Pack Supports Re-Considering Ban on Gays

Boy Scouts of America will take up the issue at is national board meeting next week.

Boy Scouts of America is considering changing its longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members, according to a news release from the organization Monday.

Under the change now being discussed, local Councils would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue — either maintaining an exclusion of gays or opening up their membership.

Monday's announcement of the possible change comes after years of protests over the policy — including petition campaigns that have prompted some corporations to suspend donations to the Boy Scouts.

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In Sept. 2012, Framingham Patch reported to the executive director of Knox Trail Council of Boy Scouts, based in Framingham, stating they have and will continue to ignore the anti-gay policy of Boy Scouts of America.

Pack 12 invites the participation of all interested 6- to 11-year old boys and their parents or guardians, without regard to sexual orientation. We urge the Knox Trail Council to adopt a similar stance on behalf of all of the MetroWest area districts."

The Council represents Framingham and 20 other communities in Massachusetts. No decision was ever announced. And in Dec., the Council's Executive Director retired.

Recently, Brian Dingman, President of the Knox Trail Council sent a letter to Scout volunteers. In it he wrote, "The Knox Trail Council welcomes all families to participate in Scouting and benefit from our positive youth development program. Working together we can accomplish much: we are committed to delivering the best Scouting program to youth, their families and the communities of MetroWest Boston."

Deron Smith, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of America, said in a statement Boy Scouts of America is discussing potentially removing the national organization's restriction, allowing membership and the selection of scout leaders to be determined by local chartered organizations "consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

The Boys Scouts, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, has long excluded both gays and atheists.

Last year, the BSA "emphatically reaffirmed" its policy of excluding gays as both leaders and Scouts, according to the Associated Press.

Smith told CBS News a change in the policy toward atheists was not being considered, and that the BSA continued to view "Duty to God" as one of its basic principles.

Boy Scouts of America is expected to take up the issue at is national board meeting next week.

Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls said "this would be an incredible step forward in the right direction."

Wahls, who's is a blogger for Huffington Post, is quoted as saying. "We look forward to working with BSA Councils and chartering organizations across the country to end the exclusion of our gay brothers in Scouting, as well as the gay and lesbian leaders who serve the organizations so well.”

Ray Crosley January 30, 2013 at 12:38 PM
This will be a set up for abuse. As it is to many boys get hurt. There will be a lot of children left damaged. This is not about gay rights this is about common sense. I don't think men should be camping out with the girl scouts. Let us have a little common sense here people.
Pained Blade January 30, 2013 at 01:02 PM
Ray, what your not noticing is the effect it will have on many growing young men. Also your own argument is your downfall "As it is to many boys get hurt" I'm assuming you mean by sexual assault of some form? well think about knowing those who have a petilicition towards male partners? that would be useful wouldn't it? also Sexual predators are not necessarily Homosexual. The majority have been through traumatic events as children themselves. to reduce the effects of sexual assaults more intensive background checks and psche evaluations are needed, not the condemnation of homosexuality.
Mrs. C. January 30, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Ray is right. How soon we forget what the homosexual priests in the Catholic did as well.
Yale Cohn February 01, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Here’s our recent interview with Zach Wahls, founder of “Scouts for Equality,” talking about why he felt that including all people in scouting was an important and necessary step for the Boy Scouts of America to make: http://patv.tv/blog/2012/09/19/talking-with-zach-wahls/
Martin Carney February 08, 2013 at 01:25 PM
First, If Pack 12 is doing that what are we teaching our future leaders? If you don't like the rules, then don't follow them. What we should be teaching them is FOLLOW the rules and if you want try to change them. But don't break them. And second, How many gays, transgender ect. does that Cub Pack really have anyway.
Martin Carney February 08, 2013 at 01:30 PM
I think you are right. I went along as a medical advisor to my wifes girl scout troop. And according to their rules I had to camp far away from the GS' campsite and could not come into it unannouanced. The rules seem to work that way for them. With BSA, women and girls are welcome in their program.

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