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Boy Scouts Propose Lift On Gay Ban For Youth

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Photo Credit: KDKA

Photo Credit: KDKA

Paul Martino Paul Martino
Paul joined KDKA-TV in 1984 as a general assignment reporter and later...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– The Boy Scouts of America says their mission is to build character, teach citizenship and develop physical fitness for young people.

Until now, if you were gay, you weren’t welcomed.

Now the organization says gays can be scouts, but not scout leaders.

A gay rights group in Pittsburgh says it just doesn’t make sense.

“What basically the boy scouts are saying to gay youth is come join our organization. We’ll teach you all the great life skills, says Chris Bryan of the Delta Foundation. “You can rise through the ranks, become an eagle scout and the day after your 18th birthday, here’s the door.”

The scouts’ national council will vote on this new policy next month.  As you might imagine, Pittsburghers have mixed views on whether gays should be scouts.

“If a boy wants to be gay and wants to be a boy scout, it shouldn’t affect anybody else,” says a local man.

Others don’t see any reason to lift the ban.

“They’re like 12 year old kids.  I don’t know that they would even have that orientation yet,” says another.

The controversy isn’t expected to go away anytime soon. Many religious organizations, which often sponsor boyscout troops,  favor the ban.

In the meantime, states like California are threatening to take away the boy scouts tax exempt status, if they don’t allow gays into the organization.

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