Openly Gay Boy Scouts Allowed in 2014
(SIOUX CITY, IA) - Starting next year, the Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay boys to become scouts. Two Sioux City Scout representatives say they agree with the decision.
Of the 1,400 leaders in the nation, 61 percent voted to end the ban.
When you join the Boy Scouts, you have opportunities to travel and learn about life. You can show your pride for all you've learned in easily recognizable uniforms. Starting next year, Scouts won't have to hide who they are.
"It's going to open up more doors for more boys to get into the program and learn the life skills that we have to teach them," said Cub Scout leader Skip Trout.
Skip Trout is a Cub Master for Pack 208 in Sioux City. He goes to church, but he has friends and family who are gay. He says gay boy scouts should be treated the same as everyone else.
"You learn these things - life skills as a group and you succeed as a group. It's not just an individual type thing. So it should be open to all types of races, genders, you name it," said Trout.
"Really scouting is not about sex. Scouting is about youth. And heterosexual, homosexual activity at that age of scouting is really contrary to scouting," said Boy Scouts of America Mid-America Council District Chairman Jim Spencer.
The Boy Scouts of America do not allow leaders to be openly gay yet, but Trout says it's just a matter of time.
"You have to take baby steps. You can't rush into anything. Really if you're going to start moving into the leadership role, I think at some point down the road adults will be allowed to be leaders, but with anything else there has to be rules," he said.
On the Family Research Council's website, it slams the Boy Scouts of America expressing its "deep disappointment for changing their long-standing position regarding open homosexuality with the Scouts."
Spencer says despite these negative comments, the Scouts need to look to the future.
"I think we need to move beyond the consequences of the decision and from a principled approach do what's right and I think support youth," he said.
Spencer says he thinks some people incorrectly associate sexual orientation with pedophilia. He points out the Scouts have strict policies and protocols to protect its members.