News Column

US Boy Scouts to Consider Lifting Ban on Gays

Feb 5, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America organization on Wednesday is to reconsider whether to accept homosexuals as members at a meeting of the executive board in Irving, Texas, according to media reports.

The decision will come at the end of a three-day meeting that follows months of public debate over the controversial question facing the 2.7-million-member organization. Just seven months ago, the board voted against accepting homosexuals.

The nationwide discussion even drew in US President Barack Obama.

"My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life," he told CBS broadcaster this week.

Conservatives in three of the largest churches in the United States - Catholics, Methodists and Mormons - oppose the admission of homosexuals into Boy Scouts. Since many of them provide meeting places and "homes" for the troops, they also are threatening to withdraw such support that includes also financial donations.

Former senator Rick Santorum, an arch-conservative whose bid for the Republican presidential nomination failed last year, said that allowing homosexuals in scouting would abandon the organization's "founding moral principles that nurture boys into men."

Texas Governor Rick Perry, another failed Republican candidate and Eagle Scout, tweeted: "A homosexual does not belong in the same tent with young boys."

The Boy Scouts of America includes boys from age 7 to 21 years old. It was founded in 1910 as part of the international scout movement started by the British army officer Lord Baden-Powell.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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