Boy Scouts reaffirm ban on gays, gay leaders

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

People who are gay will continue to be excluded from the Boy Scouts of America. Tuesday, the group reaffirmed it's stance that bans gays, after two years of discussion on the issue.

A lot of people are angry with the Scouts’ decision, some calling it a step in the wrong direction for gay rights, while others hold firm that the Scouts are a private organization, and it is their right to ban whoever they want.

Either way, a lot of people are speaking out about the policy.

"I think we're going backwards to say we aren't going to allow gay people in our organization," Erin Hernandez, who has two young boys, said. "I just think it teaches other kids not to be tolerant of others."

Two years ago, the Boy Scouts of America formed a special committee, that Tuesday came to the unanimous decision that gays would continue to be excluded from the group.

"I know that if my kids wanted to be in Boy Scouts or any other group, I wouldn't want them to be kept from doing that because of their sexual preference," Hernandez said.

The organization's national spokesman, Deron Smith, said in a statement that the group "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts."

Smith's statement preserves a long- standing and controversial policy that the Supreme Court upheld in 2000, a policy that also bans gay leaders.

"I think a role model is a role model, and as long as they are good with the kids, and they're able to be trusted," Hernandez said.

Some kids enter scouts as young as age seven, raising the question of whether a gay- ban really even effects kids that young? Licensed professional counselor Scott Aber says yes.

"That's happening younger, anywhere from (ages) 8-15, kids are coming out now, out of the closet, which is younger than it's ever been before," Aber said.

Aber says it's best to explain to your kids what homosexuality is, regardless of your beliefs.

"Explain in a simple but honest way, because kids are going to hear about it anyway, from their friends, from the media, they're just bombarded with it."

National Boy Scout leaders say most Scout families support the policy. We put the question on our Facebook page, and more than 90 people sounded off on the issue.

We tried multiple times to get a comment from someone from the local chapter, the Western Colorado Council of Boy Scouts, but they refused to participate in this story.

KKCO firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKCO 11News.

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