FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.nbc33.com) – A major national debate comes to Fort Wayne as concerned Boy Scout leaders held a rally today regarding its controversial membership policy.
These leaders wanted it to be known they were against the proposed policy change regarding gay membership, hoping the Scouts instead elect to maintain the status quo.
National Boy Scout delegates will be voting on a proposed policy change on May 23rd which could allow gay membership within the Boy Scouts, and a lot of current members have a problem with that. They feel the current "don't ask, don't tell" mentality which has been adapted for over 100 years is the best way of operating. To them, bringing the issue of sexuality into Boy Scouts undermines the organization’s moral code.
"We're about building fires, and working with wood, and learning how to handle a knife so you can whiddle, and learning how to be responsible and tell the truth,” says Doug Douglas, an Assistant Scout Master for Troop 94 in Columbia City. “Leave that for the parents. That discussion should take place somewhere else. We are not the appropriate venue to discuss sexuality."
It is important to keep in this rally is promoted by a separate organization and not by the national chapter of Boy Scouts of America. They say they play no role in the decisions being made, and whatever decision the delegates make will be upheld at the national level.
Boy Scouts of America issued a statement today, stating “some people involved in Scouting and others from outside of our organization have expressed their disagreement with this current single policy, or this proposed policy change. We respect everyone's right to express an opinion and we believe our disagreements are minor compared to our shared vision and common goals. While people have different opinions about this policy proposal, they can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting."
The local chapter of Boy Scouts of America also mentioned that while this group stands against the policy change, there are open and vocal advocates in favor of the change, as well.
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