Scout leaders won't apologize for gay pride participation in uniform

June 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM
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SALT LAKE CITY, June 16 (UPI) -- Two Utah Boy Scout leaders said they refused to sign an apology letter for marching with several other Scouts in a gay pride parade while dressed in uniform.

Officials with the Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America called in Peter Brownstein and Neil Whitaker, showed them a photo in the Salt Lake Tribune depicting Whitaker participating in the parade and demanded they sign an apology for "violation of (BSA) policies and disobedience" because their actions promoted a political agenda, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Saturday.

"We weren't rallying for a politician or political event. To me, it was being supportive of my fellow human beings," Whitaker said.

Rick Barnes, a council Scout executive, had warned the Scout leaders that marching in uniform at the parade would be a violation of BSA policy, the Tribune reported.

The letter included the warning that future such offenses could lead to revocation of the men's Scouting membership, the Tribune reported.

Brownstein was not in the photo and had not worn his uniform during the march, but Barnes and Davis apparently assumed he had worn it, the newspaper said.

"It has always been BSA's policy that no person, youth or adult may use Scouting to promote sexual orientation or any other political or social agenda, and others are welcome to participate in the parade as supportive citizens but not as uniformed members of the BSA," Barnes and Davis said in a letter to the Scout leaders.

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