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Boy Scout Leaders to Vote on Anti-Gay Policy; Rainbow Council Focuses on Mission

The decision whether to allow gays in the scouts may soon be a local one depending on the National Board's vote.

One year after reaffirming its stance against gay membership, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will vote this week on whether to lift the ban, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The BSA board is convening at the organization’s headquarters in Texas to discuss the controversial decision, reports say. The board has said it will consider lifting the national restriction against gay membership, instead leaving the call up to local troop leaders.

An upcoming vote will determine how the group proceeds, but there’s already plenty of influence on both sides of the fence.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama strongly voiced his support for equal access to the organization, regardless of sexual orientation. However, other notable figures such as Texas Governor Rick Perry—an Eagle Scout—say the policy is fine as it stands.

Should the vote pass, the decision to allow or prohibit gay members will be in the hands of local Scout troops.

Rainbow Council response

The Boy Scouts of America's Rainbow Council for Will, Grundy and Kankakee Counties is committed to following the directives handed down by the national board of the BSA. Marc Ryan, Scout executive and CEO for the Rainbow Council, headquarted in Morris, IL said, "We're just going to do what they say."

National leaders are taking due diligence as to how best to serve all "its partner organizations, including churches, youth and families."

"The Rainbow Council prepares young people for life through the work it does in over 150 Scouting units engaging approximately 1,000 volunteer leaders," he added.

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The efforts made by the New Lenox Boy Scout troops are the perfect example of service in the community, according to Ryan. In November 2012, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts collected

Outreach such as the "New Lenox food drive (is) what we care about. That's the power of Scouting," Ryan said. 

About 40,000 boys participate in Scouting through the Rainbow Council. In preparation for the holidays, all total they collected about 120,000 pounds of food for pantries in three counties.  

The aim of Scouting’s mission is to prepare young people to make moral and ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.  It is the foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  For more information about Scouting locally, visit the Rainbow Council website.  

Read the Chicago Tribune’s article to learn more

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Would you want your local scout troop to allow gay membership? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!

Susan February 06, 2013 at 02:56 PM
I believe that it should not matter if you are gay or not and wish to be involved with scouting. Gays are not a threat to our boys. Pediphiles are the threat. Being Gay does not mean someone is a pediphile. It is a shame that so many people confuse the two.
Lisa Z February 06, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Well said SMP....I have tried to make people understand this for years. If a gay person wants to become a boy scout why should they not have that opportunity. I thought scouting -girl and boy alike- was to help our youngsters develop into fine young citizens. Sexual preference plays no part in their ability to do this. I respect BSofA and their right to make a decision they are comfortable with but I don't have to support it if I feel it is contrary to my beliefs.
ALS February 06, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Well Pro Streeter, I think there are a few people that agree with you, but that's not the BAOA stance. They are a Catholic non-profit organization. They receive no funding, no nothing. Yet they are being told to conform & push their beliefs aside. It's like telling a private school (who are usually religious in nature) that they have to admit all beliefs, they don't. Do I think that this isn't helping the segregation of this country, yes, but it's their right. Who are we to tell them what to believe? It comes down to religious beliefs, period. & all this pediphile talk, has nothing to do with that, nor does the article say anything about that.
Nikki Sanders February 07, 2013 at 02:30 PM
If they won't let the girls join the boy scouts. why should they admit gay boys? Why not just combine the two gender specific scouting groups and let everyone in?
RAK February 07, 2013 at 04:40 PM
The BSA isn't a Catholic organization. They are headquartered in Texas not exactly a hotbed of Catholicism. The pressure is coming from the Board of Directors and the corporations that they represent. What we are going to end up with is a shcism in the BSA leaving a Morman/ fundamentalist block and a secular block which will mirror the political divide of the country.
ALS February 09, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Check it, BSOA v Dale. BSOA won in the Supreme Court. They ARE Catholic non-profit origination. If they are non-profit origination, who do they represent besides themselves? Lets just be clear that I am conservative, also a lawyer, & with that being said also believe in science over religion. But the law is the law. They aren't breaking it period. & Pro Streeter, you REALLY should get facts before you comment on things you clearly know nothing about, it's not about the children joining the BSOA & are homosexual, it's abut the leadership, aka adults. & it is so because it goes against the Catholic beliefs & values. "Normal" people do background checks before they spew things online. & they blame politics for all the slander.
Mr. Mokena February 10, 2013 at 04:24 PM
Hmmmm, pretty gay story/posts....

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