Arts & Culture
9:25 am
Thu February 7, 2013

Boy Scouts Delay Gay Ban Decision

 It’ll be another three months before we know if the Irving-based Boy Scouts of America will change its gay ban policy. More than 100 supporters of the policy rallied at Scout headquarters after the organization said it would keep its gay ban, for now.                                             

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The crowd of mostly church-based scout groups favors the ban on gay scouts and leaders that has been in place for a century. Two weeks ago,  the Boy Scouts of America hinted it might change the policy during this week’s national board meeting, and let each troop decide. Some at the rally said a policy change would mean caving in to the “radical homosexual agenda.”

G.W. Bell is a Cub Scout leader in Keller. It’s affiliated with Bear Creek Bible Church. He shared other concerns.

“If the BSA changes their stance on membership, my church will have a decision to make. What will they decide? Will we be subject to discrimination litigation if we choose not to allow avowed homosexuals to be direct contact leaders? How do I as a Cub Master explain to that Tiger Cub that those two men are married and sharing the same tent?”

Bell said no one wants an agenda forced down forced down anyone’s throats.

“This is what seems to be happening here. A minority group forcing a change in a much larger group. I have seen many posts quoting “judge not lest you be judged.” For me this is not about judging, it’s about protecting our rights.”

But others, including gay scouts and leaders, disagree with that view. They’re disappointed.  Greg Bourke says gay scouts – and leaders like him - have been unfairly barred from the organization they love because they’re gay, and that’s neither right nor fair.

“I thought this was going to be a time the Boy Scouts would step up and take responsibility for years of discriminating against youth and adults and they say ‘This is no longer acceptable, we’re ready to make this change.’ ”

What the Scouts said is after consideration and dialogue, its executive committee will talk to members to fashion a resolution on membership standards. And its 1,400 members will vote on that resolution in May. Most national board members refused to talk. KERA heard just a few words from one, Jack Furst, as he rushed to his vehicle after the meeting.  

“It’s all good. It’s all good guys, I appreciate it.”

Scouts who favor the BSA policy and those who want it changed are expected to make their voices heard all over again come May.