Two Boy Scout leaders, supporting several scouts, were chastised for participating in the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City, celebrating the organizations vote to permit gay youth to join.
The organization accused two scout leaders, Peter Brownstein and Neil Whitaker of violating policy. According to Scout policy, it prohibits the use of Scouting to promote political agenda. They were forewarned not to wear their uniforms in the June 3 parade.
“We were very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda at the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City,” council leaders wrote to Brownstein. “You and others are welcome to participate in the parade as supportive citizens but not as uniformed members of the BSA.”
According to Whitaker there was nothing political in their support of the event, it was similar to another event they support, the Days of 47 Parade that honors Utah Pioneers annually on July 24 and the Boy Scouts usually participate wearing their uniforms.
“We weren’t rallying for a politician or political event,” Whitaker said. ‘To me it was being supportive of my fellow human beings.”
Apparently, Whitaker and the scouts that participated wore their uniforms at the parade. A former Scoutmaster, David McGrath of Idaho Falls, Idaho defied policy and war his uniform too.
After a very controversial public battle, the Boy Scouts of America decided in May to openly allow gay boys to become members, but they banned gay adults from taking part in leadership. The new policy was approved by a margin of 61-39 percent with 1400 delegates voting.
Gay rights supporters has promised to continue to demand full inclusion for both boys and adult leaders.
The new policy goes into effect January 1, 2014.
The change has caused many Christian leaders to speak out against the organization’s new policy, allowing gay youth to join.
“The supposed compromise takes away their best defense. In the year 2000, the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts did not have to have homosexual Scoutmasters because the homosexual lifestyle was contrary to the core values of Scouts. If you’re going to allow openly gay Scouts to participate in Scouting, then it’s no longer a core value,” said Richard Land a Southern Baptist ethicist. “And so what we’re going to see now is a flood of litigation by pro-homosexual groups arguing that the continuing ban on gay Scoutmasters is … prejudice and they will win. They will win, because the Boy Scouts have stripped themselves of their defense the Supreme Court used.”
“We know that the pressures exerted against the voting members of the 1,400 chartered organizations by homosexual activist groups have been unrelenting,” said Frank Page, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President. “We are grateful for each voting member who voted in the minority, but our sadness for the Scouting organization as a whole cannot be overstated.”
The National office has supported the stance of the Utah council to hold these individuals in violation of the Scout policies.
Both leaders were asked to sign a letter acknowledging their infraction, and both refused to sign. The letter also stated that any future breaches may jeopardize their membership with the Scouts.
By: Veverly Edwards