Local Cub Scouts Pack Takes on Ban on Gay Scouts, Scout Leaders - NBC4 Washington

Local Cub Scouts Pack Takes on Ban on Gay Scouts, Scout Leaders



    Local Scout Pack Stands Up to Ban on Gay Scouts, Leaders

    News 4's Jackie Bensen reports on a Cub Scout pack that recently found itself in the middle of a controversy over the ban of gay scouts and scout leaders. (Published Monday, Jan. 28, 2013)

    Normally the focus would be on the upcoming Pinewood Derby, but a local Cub Scouts pack is looking at being part of history.

    The leadership of Cub Pack 442 in the Cloverly area of Montgomery County recently found itself the center of a national controversy.

    Last week, the pack -- at the risk of its charter from the Boy Scouts of America -- was forced to erase this statement:

    "Pack 442 WILL NOT discriminate against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability, or sexual orientation."

    “I think it kind of caught a lot of families off guard when the Boy Scouts of America came out and reaffirmed their ban on gay and lesbian individuals, and a lot of us feel strongly that that’s not right,” Pack 442 Committee Chair Theresa Phillips said.

    Last year, the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts' ban on gays was legal because it is a privately funded organization. But NBC News learned change appears to be on the horizon.

    A statement issued Monday from the organization's headquarters in Texas reads:

    "Currently, the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation."

    It goes on to say:

    "The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."

    “We didn’t sneak anything under the radar,” Assistant Cubmaster Rick Meyerdirk said. “We actually came out and said this what we’d like to put up, and we followed their guidelines to do so.”

    Pack leaders said some parents have told them they don’t want their children to be part of an organization that discriminates.