News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Top Story 4

May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts approve plan to accept openly gay boys

GRAPEVINE, Texas — In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation's leading youth organization.

Gay adults will remain barred from serving as Scout leaders.

Of the local Scout leaders voting at their annual meeting in Texas, more than 60 percent supported the proposal.

Casting ballots were about 1,400 voting members of BSA's National Council who were attending their annual meeting at a conference center not far from BSA headquarters in suburban Dallas.

The vote will not end the wrenching debate over the Scouts' membership policy, and it could trigger defections among those on the losing side.

Some conservative churches that sponsor Scout units wanted to continue excluding gay youths, and in some cases threatened to leave the BSA if the ban were lifted.

More liberal Scout leaders — while supporting the proposal to accept gay youth — wanted the ban on gay adults lifted as well.

The BSA could also take a hit financially. Many Scout units in conservative areas feared their local donors would stop giving if the ban on gay youth were lifted, while many major corporate donors were likely to withhold donations if the ban had remained.

In January, the BSA executive committee suggested a plan to give sponsors of local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders or continuing to exclude them. However, the plan won little praise, and the BSA changed course after assessing responses to surveys sent out starting in February to members of the Scouting community.

The BSA's overall "traditional youth membership" — Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers — is now about 2.6 million, compared with more than 4 million in peak years of the past. It also has about 1 million adult leaders and volunteers.

Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions.

Those include liberal churches opposed to any ban on gays, but some of the largest sponsors are relatively conservative denominations that have previously supported the broad ban — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in April that it was satisfied with new proposal, and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting did not oppose it.

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

Protests over the no-gays policy gained momentum in 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the BSA's right to exclude gays. Scout units lost sponsorships by public schools and other entities that adhered to nondiscrimination policies, and several local Scout councils made public their displeasure with the policy.

— Associated Press

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Story 4
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Raw: Stunning Timelapse of WC Final Host City Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Raw: Militants, Israelis Exchange Rocket Fire Israel Widens Attack As Gaza Death Toll Rises Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Raw: Airstrike Creates Chaos on Gaza Streets Raw: Sirens Blare Over Jerusalem Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Netherlands Beats Host Brazil 3-0 to Finish 3rd Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale FIFA Rejects Suarez Appeal Against Biting Ban WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement'
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity