Local Troop Leaders Respond to BSA Decision on Accepting Gay ScoutsBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 28 May 2013 08:59am |
Boy scout leaders in Mississippi are still assessing what impact allowing openly gay youth to join it's organization will have on the program.
Forest educator Michael Walden says the principles he learned through the Boy Scouts of America gave him the tools he needed to become successful in life.
"We camped out, we learned how to tie knots, do the basics of survival and it also teaches you a code of ethics and it helps with your moral character," says Walden.
Walden embraces the idea that the boy scouts are now opening their doors to gay scouts.
"Well this is America and traditions are being broken by our Constitution which allows all people, so you can't discriminate, whether you like it or not, they have legal rights to be apart of any organization, their personal life should remain personal," continues Walden.
The Scouts decision to admit openly gay members has been met with criticism from a number of religious organizations who sponsor programs in their churches. Timothy Chambers is a youth minister and Scout Master of Troupe 291 in Jackson.
"That's really somewhat of a disappointment for them to accept that seeing that the scouting organization has always been founded on Christian principles, one of the things that the scouts, we are reverent, in that we reverence God in all the he does, with that going against what we he stands for, that's kind of a disappointing factor," says Chambers.
Numerous faith based organizations say the change will lead to mass exodus from the boy scout program. They also warn that the change would make the BSA vulnerable to lawsuits seeking to end the ban on gay adults.
On it's website members of the Andrew Jackson Council, one of the largest Scouting groups in the state says it will be receiving input from its members in the coming months regarding changes in youth membership standards.
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