Boy Scouts May Reconsider Ban On Gay Members

UTAH (CNN) – The ban on openly gay members will stand with the Boy Scouts of America, but the organization says it will consider a resolution asking that local units be allowed to determine their own standards.

In Utah, some former scouts tell reporter Jonelle Merrill they are ready to accept some changes.

Almost 300,000 people across America have signed a petition to reverse the ban on gays throughout the Boy Scouts of America.  The petition started when an Ohio mom took her fight online after being ousted as a Cub Scout leader.
In her petition, Jennifer Tyrrell states, “it is time for the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its policy of exclusivity against gay youth and leaders. Please sign this petition to call for an end of discrimination in an organization that is shaping the future.”
Boy Scout leaders argue that under a 2000 Supreme Court decision in their favor, it’s not discrimination, and that because they’re a private organization, the gay ban is well within their legal rights.
“Don’t join. It’s that simple. If you don’t like what we do, find some place that does or create your own.”

Even though the boy scouts traditionally support conservative faith-based values, some former boy scouts we talked to said allowing gay leaders wouldn’t bother them.

“I don’t think sexual preference has any weight on how well, or how good of a leader they can be.”
“I think leadership ability doesn’t come down to your sexual preference.”

But some people firmly disagree.

“I think that with being a Boy Scout leader and having boys, you know, around him, they shouldn’t be gay.”

With hundreds of thousands of registered boy scouts in Utah, leaders expect more opposition but not necessarily a change in policy.

“Based historically on this particular subject matter being brought before the annual meeting, I would say that the standards for membership in the Boy Scouts of America won’t change.”

The Boy Scouts of America have given a committee studying the resolution until May 2013 to make a report or recommendation to the group’s National Executive Board.