Local/State

Group against gay scout inclusion

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rallies across the country were held Friday by a group against a proposed resolution being considered by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay scouts into the organization.

A group that is part of the On My Honor.Net coalition gathered outside of the Occoneechee Council on Atlantic Avenue in Raleigh Friday afternoon in an effort to send a message to the national council.

According to the group's website, OnMyHonor.Net is a nationwide coalition of Boy Scouts of America members, leaders, donors and parents who support the Boy Scout's current membership policies.

Last month, the proposal to allow openly gay members into the Boy Scouts was first introduced and has since stirred up a lot of mixed feelings and has created a large division within the organization itself.

The resolution would reverse a long standing ban on gays by allowing openly gay members, but not openly gay adults, into the organization.

Parents, Scout leaders and Eagle Scouts protesting the policy change in Raleigh Friday said they are concerned about the risks and effects the change would have on the scouting programs.

"If that resolution passes, we will be required to teach homosexuality to young boys, as young as six and as old as 17, and have to explain to them what that is," protest organizer Brad Kiser said. "I think that sexual discussion needs to be at home with the parents and not at the Boy Scouts."

"The discrimination by the Boy Scouts equates to nothing but the antiquated thought that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals are somehow 'less than,'" The LGBT Center of Raleigh said in a statement to ABC11 on Friday. "The Scouts' handbook clearly states that all participants should 'respect and defend the rights of all people.' It does not follow that statement with '... unless you're gay.'"

The Boy Scouts of America National Council is expected to vote on the measure next Thursday. If it passes, change would take effect in January.

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