Boy Scouts reconsidering stance on gay members, leaders - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Boy Scouts reconsidering stance on gay members, leaders

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By: Melissa Toupin

mtoupin@abc.com

It was just three months ago that Providence Boy Scout troop 28 and pack 88 sent a letter to Wayne Perry, President of Boy Scouts of America, asking him to again reexamine the organizations policy regarding sexual orientation.

"One of our inherent conflicts is that our chartering institution, Central Congregational Church, is open and affirming," said pack 88 cubmaster Charley Rardin who has two sons in the scouts.

Now it seems like the Boy Scouts may agree. The organization announced Monday it is considering changing its position to allow openly gay members and leaders. The Providence troop has done this for years.

"We have made it very clear that we will accept any member that want to reflect the values the values that we consider important as far as mutual respect and inclusiveness," said Rardin.

Ryan Anderson of California was denied his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout because he is gay. His father telling ABC: "Well, in short, it's about time. They tell kids to be honest. To be trust worthy—and then they force kids into hiding or away from the scouts because they force them to keep a secret."

The policy change lets Boy Scout troops make a decision at the local level.

"Many people consider this a change that's been a long time coming," said Rardin. "as with any change it can be unforeseen and Im' sure it will be different in different communities across the country."

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