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Boy Scouts considers allowing gay youth

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 News) – The Boy Scouts of America is considering a proposal to allow children to join the organization regardless of their sexual orientation, but they will not allow gay scout leaders.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 News) – The Boy Scouts of America is considering a proposal to allow children to join the organization regardless of their sexual orientation, but they will not allow gay scout leaders.

The proposal announced Friday after input from the Scouting family and the public, according to the Boy Scouts of America.

Michael Brownstein, 13, and his parents from the Salt Lake Valley said the proposal is a step in the right direction.

Michael’s father, Peter Brownstein, is a Scout Master. He said being a member of the Boy Scouts has tremendous benefits, but the organization’s unacceptance of gay members hurts the organization.

“I think it really goes against all the scout oaths and laws and everything we are teaching the kids we must also demonstrate for them,” he said.

ABC 4 News reached out to the Great Salt Lake Council for comment on the proposed change.

The local chapter referred us to the National Council and said the Great Salt Lake Council executive board needs to discuss the proposed Membership Standards change before they can comment.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded on Friday. Michael Purdy, an LDS Church spokesman, provided the full statement below.

“The Church has been provided a copy of the new resolution regarding membership standards for BSA. Church leaders will take the time needed to fully review the language and study the implications of this new proposal. We note that BSA will make a final decision on this matter at their National Annual Meeting next month.”

The Brownsteins said they hope the organization will vote to remove the restriction on banning gay youth and hope they will change their stance on accepting gay scout leaders.

“It’s not the answer I was looking for,” Brownstein said. “It does represent progress. It just means we’ll take longer to get where we need to be.”

A vote on the proposal will be made by approximately 1,400 members of the Boy Scouts of America in May 2013 at their National Annual Meeting.

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