Boy Scout Parents React to Gay Ban

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- As the boy scouts of America celebrates its one hundred and third anniversary this week, organization leaders say they need more time to decide whether to keep its long-time ban on gay members.

Charles Owen said being a boy scout is something that runs in his blood, which is why he's passing in onto his son.

"I was in Boy scouts when I was younger," said Owen. "And my girlfriend's older son was in scouts when he was younger. And my dad was a leader and my girlfriends dad was a leader. So it kind of runs in the family of scouting and teaching them things about life and stuff like that."

Owen said he sees great value in the organization, but thinks its ban on gay members is a bit outdated.

"I don't have a problem with it," he said. "We have gay people in our family, so it doesn't matter. They're regular people. They just have a different partner."

The Boy Scouts of America national executive board today postponed its decision on whether to repeal the ban on gay scouts and leaders until May.

The Blackhawk Area Council is hosting a week-long bonfire to celebrate the organization's 103rd anniversary. Many parents who were there Wednesday night said they're for equal rights.

"I have no problem with gay scout leaders being involved in scouts. As long you don't try the wrong thing, you're fine with me. You know, don't cross the line, and everything good."

Of the dozen or so parents I spoke with tonight, only one told me he supports the ban, but wouldn't speak on camera.

Local boy scout leaders and representatives were told not to comment on the issue until headquarters hands down its decision in May.

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