BSA formally ends ban on gay Boy Scouts

Jan. 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM   |   0 comments

IRVING, Texas, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- The Boy Scouts of America officially ended its ban on gay Scouts Wednesday, although gay adults are still barred from serving as leaders.

Pascal Tessier, 17, of Kensington, Md., who hopes to advance to the highest rank, Eagle Scout, told the Los Angeles Times he came out in favor of ending the ban, announcing at the same time that he is homosexual. He knew if the Scouts kept the ban that would be the end of his time with the group.

Since the national council voted in May to end the ban, effective Jan. 1, two other members of his troop have come out, Tessier said.

"There was in fact a fear of being kicked out of Scouting because you were gay," Tessier said.

While 61 percent of the national council supported the change, many religious groups that sponsor Scout troops opposed it, including the Southern Baptists. Others, including the Catholic Church, were supportive of the change.

The Scouts have said troops should not separate gays from other Scouts in any way: "We are all Scouts and are accepting of all members of the Scouting family."

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