Controversy Continues on Whether Gays Should Be Allowed in the Boy Scouts

By Sylvia Gonzalez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Every year during the annual meeting of the Boys Scouts of America, the same question is raised, and that is whether gays should be allowed to be part of the Christian based organization. However, many are more concerned as to why is the question is even raised, especially living in a free county.

Shari Johnson, the President of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays in Odessa says it's about time a change came to the organization.

"If not all boys of America are welcomed to be a Boy Scout then it should not be named Boy Scouts of America," Johnson said.

Johnson says it's nonsense that in the year 2013, we are talking about whether individuals should be allowed in a certain organization. She says if an organization claims to be Christian based, they should accept everyone for who they are.

"Their philosophy is very Christian and what is more Christian than loving your neighbor and loving everyone instead of dividing who can be a member and who can't. That's so hurtful," Johnson said.

David Chapman, Executive Director of the Buffalo Trail Council in Midland, says this issue can easily cause people to lose sight of what the Boy Scouts do. He says they accept anyone, no matter who they are.

"First of all, I don't think scouting, we are not against anybody. What we have tried to do is find the best leaders that we can that represent our traditional values," Chapman said.

Chapman says even if the Boy Scouts of America choose to allow gays to be part of their organization, other obstacles could become a challenge.

"The restriction on homosexual leaders is placed on all of our charter partners at the national level. What they are considering doing is allowing the local charter organizations, the organizations that sponsor scouting, the ones that sponsor the cub scouts packs and the boy scouts troops and the venture cruise to make that decision. So it's just placing it at a local level," Chapman said.

As for Johnson, she has a challenge for anyone who is associated with the Boy Scouts Organization.

"To start educating themselves and stop believing the misconceptions and stereotypes that have been handed down for eons and to start seeing people for who they really are," Johnson said.