NEW INFORMATION: Scout families deliver petition on no-gay policy

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Scouts and their families have delivered a petition to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters urging an end to a policy banning gay scouts and leaders from the organization.

They say the petition delivered Monday in Irving, Texas, includes 1.4 million signatures. Scouting leaders are expected to consider ending the ban during a three-day meeting this week.

Jennifer Tyrrell was among the dozen people who delivered the petition. Tyrrell says she was forced out as leader of her son's Cub Scout pack because she's gay, and she doesn't want to see any other parents treated in the same way.

She says the policy is "archaic" and needs to change.

The families were waiting for a representative of Boy Scouts of America to come and accept their petition.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Boy Scouts of America is thinking about revising a long-standing policy of excluding gay people as scouts and leaders.

Just seven months ago the, the Boy Scouts affirmed a policy of banning gay members calling it "the best policy for organization."
It’s the local chapters that suggested policy change, urging reconsideration from the National Executive Board.

Matt Hill, Executive Director of the Eau Claire Boy Scouts says the Chapter will support the National Board regardless of their final decision.

"I can say that we, as a local council, agree to support the decision made by the volunteers of the National Executive Board, and our united focus in the Chippewa Valley is going to be working together to deliver what continues to be the Nation's formal youth program of character development and values based leadership training,” said Hill.

About 50-united way groups and several corporations and charities have concluded that the ban violates their non-discrimination requirements.

The Boy Scouts accepted the proposal out of respect for different points of view.

The statement released by the Boy Scouts of America National Council says for years the boy scouts of America have communicated with the families and always acted in the best interest of the young people that the organization serves.

"For more than 100 years Scouting's focus has been on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve,” stated National Council.

"Our mission is to serve as many kids as possible, and that's going to continue to be our mission, to deliver the best youth program in the country,” said Hill.

Officials say the matter is still an internal policy discussion, and no decision has been made yet.
The soonest a decision could be made is early next week.

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