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BSOA Considering Stance On Openly Gay Scouts & Leaders

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IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – The Boys Scouts of America, based in Irving, is considering an about face on it’s longstanding
ban on openly gay scouts and leaders.

The group will discuss lifting the ban at its National Executive Board
Meetings in Irving scheduled Monday through Wednesday.

Saturday, Govenor Rick Perry addressed hundreds of scouts in the State House of Represenatives in Austin.

His opinion on lifting the ban was an emphatic “no.”

“I agree with him whole heartedly,” said Michael Lawrence.

Lawrence, a boy scout leader from
Highland Park, wouldn’t want to change
the way boy scouts award badges, he doesn’t want to change the policy banning
gays.

“The scouts has been a wonderful institution for
100 years. I think they should keep it the way it is,” he said.

Last week, the Boys Scouts of America
announced they were discussing potentially
removing the national membership restriction on
sexual orientation.

That means there would be no national policy.
Local troops and parents would decide what they wanted to do and where they wanted to meet.

“This is just a slippery slope that will expose
children to homosexuality before parents ever
want it to happen. And, it’s really diverting the
focus of boys scouts,” Lawrence said.

Govenor Rick Perry, addressing the
Texas Scouts 64th annual Report to State,
said he doesn’t want to change the policy either.

“You know, I think most people see absolutely no reason to change their position. And, neither do I,” he said.

Perry is an Eagle Scout himself who often
talks about his scouting days, growing up in Paint Creek, Texas. He has written a book about the boy scouts called, “On My Honor: Why the American Values of the Boy Scouts Are Worth Fighting For.”

“Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons. Sexuality is not one of them. It never has been, it doesn’t need to be. and I suggest that’s the real issue that’s going on here,”

“I thought he was supposed to be governor
for all of Texas, not just straight Texas,” John Langbert said.

John Langbert, who’s gay, was booted out of his son’s troop two years ago. He thinks
it’s only a matter of time before the ban is lifted.

“It’s just like apartheid in South Africa. Took a long time to change. Things in America take time to change. They WILL change,” Langbert said.

If there is change, Michael Lawrence thinks
it won’t be good.

“You’ll have divisions all over the country as
to which troops hold which set of values.
And a house divided will not stand,” Lawrence
said.

The policy is expected to be discussed at the
Boy Scouts National Executive Board Meeting
but they may also possibly vote on it.

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