EUGENE, Ore. — Active and former Boy Scout members and leaders are protesting in Eugene and across the country.
Their message: keep gay people out of the Scouts.
Next Thursday Boy Scout leaders will vote on whether or not the group will allow openly gay men to join the organization. On Friday a group rallied in Eugene to urge leaders to vote in opposition to this proposal.
Mothers, children, parents and former Boy Scout members and leaders rallied against the Boy Scouts allowing openly gay men to join the organization.
“They’ve had a long-standing tradition for 103 years. They’ve had a policy and I think they need to stick to that policy,” said Tiger Scout parent Emma Higley.
It’s all part of a nationwide rally to urge Boy Scout leaders to vote no on a proposal to allow homosexual men to join the Boy Scouts.
“Opening the Boy Scouts to boys who openly proclaim being sexually attracted to other boys and are openly identifying themselves as gay will inevitably create an increase of boy on boy sexual contact,” Lee Wright, the event’s organizer.
About a dozen people lined the streets outside of the local Boy Scout headquarters with signs saying vote no on the resolution.
“We don’t need any changes in the Scouts. There’s no discrimination,” said former Boy Scout Jim Kelso.
Protestors say there’s nothing wrong with the way things currently are and say allowing openly gay men to join the ranks will cause financial, social, and legal problems for the entire organization.
“You know, maintain the standards they’ve had for years, and years, and years,” Wright said.
“I’m concerned about the direction that is trying to be imposed on the national Scouts, which of course is going to come back to our local level,” said Gary Vandermeer.
“I’d just like to tell people to pray this week for the decision Thursday that they’ll make the right decision for our boys,” Higley said.
According to an ABC News poll, more than 60 percent of Americans support the Scouts allowing gay men to join the Boy Scouts.