RICHMOND, VA—Richmond was just one city to join a nationwide rally Friday, opposing a resolution that would lift a current ban prohibiting gay leaders and scouts.
“Scouting is not about sex, it's not about politics—it's about honor,” said Assistant Scout Master Barry Hodge.
Several parents, scouts and others rallied Friday, showing their support for the current and more than 100-year-old Boy Scouts of America policies.
Friday's rally comes ahead of next week's big vote, when delegates will decide whether to allow those who are openly gay to participate in the organization.
“The current policy already allows for the participation of youth and adults with same-sex attraction, whose first priority is scouting, and are willing to abide by the scout oath and the scout law,” said Hodge. “Only those who use their BSA membership as a platform for promoting their views for sexuality or act out sexually in a scouting setting are asked to leave the program.”
Those who rallied Friday opened with a prayer. “We forgive those that have trespassed against us.”
Leaders worry a change in the policy could mean 400,000 less scout members. Others fear what message would be portrayed if the policy stays the same.
“Sexual orientation is no more chosen than we choose skin color or gender, and we would never discriminate against a scout because he is African American, and we should not discriminate against a scout because they're gay,” said Richmond Gay Community Foundation spokesman Bill Harrison.
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Copyright 2012 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond