Local Reaction: Boy Scouts looking to drop policy banning homosexuals
CHATTANOOGA, TN. (WRCB) - Cub Scouts from Jasper Elementary visited the Channel 3 studio on Monday. Earlier in the day, NBC News reported The Boy Scouts of America is considering removing a ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. "I think it's weakening the organization, to tell you the truth," said Cub Master John Clark.
Clark has been involved with scouting for 30 years and, while he admits he disagrees with homosexuality on religious grounds, he says there are other concerns. "There has been too much going on in the past where leaders has done things to the boys," he added. "It shouldn't be."
He references private files recently released by court order detailing decades of child sex abuse accusations within the Boy Scouts of America. "That was a concern to me, but I think that the Boy Scouts are addressing that; have addressed it," said June Grimes, a Boy Scout Volunteer and Grandmother to one of the Jasper Cub Scouts.
Grimes added, she thought the dropping of the policy would be a good idea and a way to get more people involved with the scouting experience. "That will be an equality that hasn't been offered to young people and leaders in the past," she said. "Because, it makes everyone have an equal chance to be a participant."
The decision, said to be coming about, in part, because some groups and corporations have stopped providing financial aid, would also alienate other backers. What is being considered would let the decision to admit or not be made at the local level. "I have never refused a boy in my life; never have, for whatever, said Clark. "Leaders? I have refused leaders. That's my prerogative. And I will refuse leaders if they are gay."
If the national policy change is approved, it could be announced as early as next week.