Utah has 42 delegates in Texas set to vote on whether or not to allow gay boys be scouts. Gay adults remain banned from being leaders.
Peter Brownstein is a Salt Lake area Scout Master with a straight teenage son who is an Eagle Scout. They both want to see a change.
“It’s hurting the entire organization as people are judging the Scouts based on this one issue and they're keeping kids out of the program,” Brownstein said.
Brownstein’s son, Michael, said he took an oath to be “morally straight,” which has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
“Morally straight means you’re a good person,” Michael said. “Gay has nothing to do with whether you're a good person or not.”
Several online petitions at change.org/boyscouts urge an end to the Boy Scout’s ban on gay youth and parent. The petitions have a combined 1.8 million signatures.
Jason Dautel from Sugarhouse started one of the petitions.
“Scouts was wonderful for me, but I never felt like I could be open about how I felt,” Dautel said. “I felt I had to hide it or lie about it and I don't think that's fair for the boys now.”
Dautel said the Boy Scouts should be about inclusion, brotherhood and camaraderie, but the current policy does not allow that to happen.
The Brownstein’s are hopeful the policy will change, even if critics want to keep gays out of the organization. He said a change will have lasting effects in the future.
“Even if there are a few people who will leave the program, probably many more will join causing it to be a larger organization in the long run,” Brownstein added.
A vote is expected to be announced Thursday at 5:00 p.m central time.