Proponents of a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois said Monday the state’s Senate Executive Committee will consider the measure at a Tuesday hearing, the very first working day of the Senate’s new session.
A proposed shift by the Boy Scouts of America to drop its national ban on gay leaders and scouts, and allow local scout units to decide for themselves, was the center of attention as the organization’s national board gathered here on Monday for a three-day meeting and a vote on the issue.
Advocates on both sides of the issue have stepped up their campaigns ahead of the final decision: They’ve encouraged their backers to make their voices heard through a phone-in and email deluge, and Scout leaders ousted because they were gay will deliver petitions with more than one million signatures to Boy Scouts headquarters on Monday.
Kara Asmus, field director with the Boy Scouts, believes the rule barring gay members doesn’t enhance the organization’s ability to fulfill their mission because sexual orientation isn’t something the group deals with directly.
A proposal that would allow local Boy Scout troops to decide whether to accept gay Scouts and leaders could mean that Scouting will one day reflect the pockets of acceptance and bulwarks of resistance to gay rights seen nationwide.
About 20 years ago when Curtis Filer's son was 15, he quit the Boy Scouts knowing as a gay teen, he did not fit in. The reason he did not feel right? The Boy Scouts of America excludes gay men from being leaders, and gay youth from being members of its organization.