(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Framingham, Mass.) – This is the Knox Trail Council, the Boy Scouts of America regional organization that received a letter from Framingham Pack 12 last year.
Pack 12 said last year it would follow its own way, and allow anyone to be a leader, regardless of sexual orientation.
Now it appears the Boys Scouts of America may allow them to make that decision for themselves.
“If you’ve got a parent that wants to put in that effort and volunteer, I would say everybody’s welcome, and I hope that someday everybody will be welcome,” said Pack 12 Cub Scout Master Jim Been.
It would be an about face, an organization that has long had a policy barring openly gay leaders and youth members, The Boys Scouts of America is said to be considering allowing individual troops to go their own way, reversing a policy that was reaffirmed as recently as July.
Long before this, Been took a stand.
Himself an Eagle Scout in the 80s, with the medal and citations to prove it, Been’s two sons are Cub Scouts now.
In a letter signed by half of Pack 12’s parents, then sent to the regional council, he wrote,
“Pack 12 has taught us that being a scout means being inclusive, supportive, and standing up for what you believe in.
We do not and never will discriminate on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.”
“Maybe the letter that Pack 12 sent out along with other packs and troops, maybe it had some influence. Maybe the BSA had no idea how the rest of the country felt,” Been said.
“We’re very concerned because we agree with the over 100 year policy of the scouts calling for sexual purity,” said Kris Mineau, President of the Massachusetts Family Institute who says he is afraid scouting is caving because of what he calls “corporate bullying.”
Funding from UPS and others is drying up.
And he hopes the longstanding scouting values remain.
“We don’t mix the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts for obvious reasons, human sexuality should not be the agenda for the Boy Scouts,” Mineau said.
Been would, of course, welcome the change, but does not think it should be an across the board mandate for all scout troops everywhere.
“A lot of the organizations that charter cub scouts and Boy Scouts are churches, whether it’s a Mormon church, a Catholic Church are probably the two biggest. They might not be comfortable with that. But if you let council say, we’ll make the choice, I think everybody would be happy with that solution,” Been said.
It seems something like a state’s rights vs. federal government kind of argument in some ways.
There could be a decision as early as later this week or next week.
For those of you who weren’t able to join us live on Tuesday night, we had the author of the MFI Book Club selection Live