Regional Boy Scout Council Reacts To Policy Change
A restriction that gained the attention of the nation was lifted Thursday by the Boy Scouts of America.
Openly gay Boy Scouts are now allowed and the council that oversees troops in the north country says it's the right decision.
"There's no doubt we have gay scouts, gay scout leaders. Generally, given our rules against any open display of human sexuality, we're not looking to promote any of that display whether it is hetero or homosexual," said Scott Armstrong of the Boy Scouts of America Longhouse Council.
Although gay boys are now allowed, gay adults are still restricted from becoming scout leaders.
That's where the Longhouse Council says work still needs to be done.
"Given that human sexuality has no role or place within the scouting community, we felt that frankly, it's kinda contradictory to have human sexuality as a criterion for membership," said Armstrong.
Boy Scout leadership says there is a difference between a child and an adult.
"The leadership role is a different role. This resolution today dealt with youth. We have not changed our adult membership standards. They have served us well for the last 100 years," said Tico Perez, BSA national commissioner.
The issue of the ban on gay scouts has been a non-issue in central and northern New York even before the rule change Thursday.
Armstrong says the Longhouse Council has never restricted a homosexual from being a scout or a scout leader.