The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

April 19, 2013

Boy Scouts propose to lift gay ban for youth

(Continued)

Many Scout units are sponsored by relatively conservative denominations that have supported the ban on gays in the past — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

LDS spokesman Michael Purdy said Mormon leaders would study the new proposal. There was no immediate public reaction from Southern Baptist or Catholic officials who have been dealing with the BSA membership issue.

The BSA survey tried to gauge the proposal's effect on financial support. Local Scout councils said 51 percent of their major donors opposed easing the ban, while a majority of Fortune 500 companies supported a change.

In another revealing section of the survey, the BSA reported feedback from 30 national youth organizations and civic groups, many of them partners of the Scouts in various endeavors.

Of the 30 organizations, 28 urged the Scouts to lift the ban, and many warned that their partnerships might end if the ban remained.

The BSA also consulted four experts in the field of child sex abuse prevention. The four conveyed a "nearly universal opinion" within their field that homosexuality is not a risk factor for the sexual abuse of children.

Since January, the Scouts have come under intense pressure from activists and advocacy groups on both sides of the membership debate.

In Indiana, for example, there's an ongoing campaign demanding that the United Way withhold funding from the Scouts until the ban is lifted. In California, the state Senate is considering a bill aimed at pressuring the BSA to lift the ban by making the organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks.

Among the leaders of the anti-ban campaign is Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother who was ousted as her 7-year-old son's Cub Scout den leader because she is gay.

"The Boy Scouts are once again forcing me to look my children in the eyes and tell them that our family isn't good enough," Tyrrell said in a statement Friday.

Text Only
News
The Daily Marquee
Video
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.