Boy Scouts of America rule to allow gay leaders

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH)-A century old ban barred openly gay adults from serving as den leaders, scoutmasters, and camp counselors has been overturned by the Boy Scouts of America.

Within weeks of the US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriages, another long-time pillar aimed specifically at sexual orientation has fallen.

The new ruling allows church-sponsored Scout units to maintain the exclusion of gay leaders for religious reasons. About 70 percent of all troops are church-based.

Last year the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts adopted a diversity statement which said adults should not be banned as leaders for their sexual orientation.Simon Kenton

Brian Peffly was a young volunteer and Eagle Scout with the same Westerville church-based troop since he was 11-years-old. Earlier this year he was kicked out by the national organization for being openly gay. Peffly application00000000

“I was physically incapacitated from the anxiety. My heart was beating out of my chest, I couldn’t even speak,” Peffly said.

Last night after watching the ruling come down, Peffly said he received an application to rejoin his troop.

“To officially be a part of the troop I was with since a young kid, that means a lot to me,” he said.

Boy Scouts of America organization President Robert Gates spoke about their policy in May.

“We must deal with the world as it is not what we might wish it would be,” said Gates.

NBC4 spoke with a pastor at the Circleville-based Citizens for Community values.

“When values are challenged it seems as if the BSA have acquiesced to various demands, So I think that is a travesty. Quite honestly I have advised many others to just leave the Boy Scouts and join other great groups,” said Pastor Tim Throckmorton with the Crossroads Church of Circleville. Boy Scout unauthorized symbol00000000

Troy Anthony Harris said he was a Cub and Boy Scout in Gallipolis and is gay. He said he has followed the ruling since he came out.

“I have seen how the discrimination against gays for both scouts and scout leaders has really hurt the overall mission of the Boy Scouts of America,” Harris said. “I think there is a place for responsible adults who are out and in the LGBT community to be part of the boy scouts because our young people need that mentorship.”

The National Catholic Committee on Scouting said in a release they have an interest in maintaining their ties with the BSA, but also voiced concerns. The Mormon Church has said they may pull out of affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America. They comprise a third of all scout troops.Gay scout flags00000000

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