The leader of a Redlands, California Cub Scouts troop voiced his and the other troop leaders’ opposition to the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) discriminatory policy banning gay scouts and LGBT leaders, saying, “Pack 24 is open to all boys and all families.” Cubmaster James Rich’s message was reiterated at a local scout meeting on Thursday by several Pack 24 parents, which joins individual scouts, troops and leaders around the country that have dismissed the national organization’s anti-gay policy.
In an email, Boy Scouts of America spokesperson Deron Smith commented on such troops, noting that, “Any time we’re aware of any inconsistency in a Scouting policy, we work with the local council to reiterate the policy and ensure its compliance with the local leaders.” While the national policy stands, Rich continues to fear for his nine-year-old grandson in Pack 24, who “might realize at a later age he is gay, and the Boy Scouts would kick him out. I couldn’t live with that.”
GLAAD urges the media to elevate the stories of scouts and leaders who are speaking out against the Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy. The organization’s current stance hurts families and communities across the nation when it tells some scouts and leaders that they do not belong, just because of who they love.