Hundreds of mourners packed Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas on Saturday to say good-bye to firefighter Stanley Wilson.
In one of their most dramatic choices in a century, local leaders of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to ease a divisive ban and allow openly gay boys to be accepted into the nation’s leading youth organization.
History could be made Thursday at the Boy Scouts of America annual national convention held at the Gaylord Texan Hotel in Grapevine. The organization is set to vote on whether to allow openly gay scouts in their ranks. Right now gays are not allowed to either be scouts or adult leaders. A compromise proposal to allow gay scouts but not adult leaders is not sitting well with activists on either side of the issue.
The Boy Scouts of America begin their annual national meeting in Grapevine on Wednesday, and the issue of gay members is front and center at this year’s two-day conference.
It was an emotional scene: Dallas firefighters saluting their fallen brother as they carried the body of 51 year old year old Stanley Wilson out of the rubble.
Next week Boy Scouts of America leaders are expected to vote on changing the policy that excludes gay members and leaders. In anticipation of the vote and upcoming conference, two protests are being held today in North Texas.
Under pressure over its long-standing ban on gays, the Boys Scouts of America is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.
Wearing a replica of one of the organization’s uniforms, pop singer Madonna called on the Boy Scouts to lift its ban on gays. “I think they should change their stupid rules,” she said.
The Boy Scouts have sent more than one million surveys to Scout volunteers and parents, trying gauge their feelings on homosexuality and the possible lifting of the organizations ban on gays.
Carly Rae Jepsen is canceling her performance at the national Boy Scouts of America Jamboree because of the organization’s exclusion of gays.
With the Boy Scouts of America entangled in a furor over its ban on gays, lesser-known youth organizations across the ideological spectrum see an opportunity. They wonder if the turmoil might prompt some to give them a closer look as options.
There were hopes that Boy Scout officials would vote today on changing the policy that excludes gay members and leaders. But late Wednesday morning, the Scouts announced they are delaying a decision because “more deliberation is needed.”