ROCKFORD - One of
But even if the group does reverse its anti-gay stance, the ultimate decision will land with troops local chartering organizations. That decision has Stateliners split.
"I don't see any reason to discriminate against people," said Chuck Schulman. He says states are affirming gay marriage and the military has repealed "Don't Ask Don't Tell," so he thinks it's about time the BSA hopped on board.
Keith Garr says he thinks the Boy Scouts should not be an organization that evangelizes the concept of homosexuality for growing boys.
"I think that policy was there for a reason and that reason probably hasn't changed," said Garr.
The Boy Scouts of America prides itself on a diverse group of participants representing various religious backgrounds, skin colors, and Blackhawk Area Scout Executive Don Kinney says he thinks national leadership is looking to keep that diversity true.
"It's apparent to our national leadership that no one national policy is going to be able to fit such a diverse group of chartering organizations and families," said Kinney.
The proposed policy change doesn't automatically let gays in as scouts or leaders. Rather that decision will land with the individual troops and their governing bodies.
"The vote really belongs to chartered organizations to act in ways that are consistent with their mission, their principles and their religious beliefs," said Kinney.
The Blackhawk Area
Council has oversight of nearly 400 troops in 12 counties in Northern Illinois
"We will wait until a final decision has been made, however certainly any Diocesan programs would most certainly follow the beliefs and teaching of the Catholic Church."
- Penny Wiegart, Director of Communications
The Boy Scouts of America won a Supreme Court ruling in 2000, allowing itself to ban gays from its organization. The recent change of heart seems to come on the heels of some criticism from big corporate sponsors.