Boy Scouts Of America May Allow Gay Scouts And Leaders

11:49 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) could drop their ban against gay members and leaders, as early as next week.

The 100-year-old youth organization has long been known to restrict their membership to heterosexuals since it was founded.

"It's unacceptable. There's no one in this community that our group would want to turn away," said Richard Meyerdirk, Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 442 in Cloverly, Maryland.

Meyerdirk is not only a Cubmaster, he was an Eagle Scout, and a Cub Scout before that. His 11-year-old son Tyler is now in his Pack. Meyerdirk and his wife Theresa Phillips are teaching their son not to discriminate.

"We said we really want to take a stand against this." Phillips said who is also a Committee Chair.

That's why the 45 cub scouts of Pack 442 took a stance against the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexuals. They posted a Non-Discrimination Statement on their website.

Meyerdirk explains what happened next, "We were notified that if we wanted to keep our charter and have it reissued to us, we would have to remove our statement from our website."

This backlash against the Boy Scouts' ban kicked off last April when Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother says she was kicked out of her son's cub scout pack for being a lesbian.

"I can't still believe that in 2012 and now -13, the LGBT community doesn't have all freedoms all equal rights, and it's still amazing to me that we're still even having these discussions," Tyrrell said. 

Tyrrell started a petition and now has more than 300,000 signatures of support.

In July, 2012 the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed their stance. An avalanche of opposition followed. Major League Soccer ended their contract. Then-Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney, and President Obama came out against the discrimination and Intel Foundation pulled their funding.

Today, the Boy Scouts of America announces they're "discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation."

But BSA would not talk to us on camera so we asked -- why now? The BSA said in an email, "The decision to discuss the policy is a result of a long standing dialogue within the Scouting family."

Back to Pack 442, they didn't want to lose their charter, so they took down their statement.

David Fones is also an Assistant Cubmaster, "It struck a nerve with us and it's something that in this day and age is not right." The Pack is hoping the BSA will reconsider their policy.

Jennifer Tyrrell hopes so too, "I feel extremely hopeful but still cautiously excited, until we get the final word, I'm going to try and remain a little cautious."

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