You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

live video

Donald Trump addresses crowd at Lincoln Memorial

Scouts approve allowing gay youth membership

National leadership of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to allow gay youth to join the organization, overturning a long tradition of excluding gays.

“Scouting is available to all youth,” Doug Nelson, scout executive/CEO of the Miami Valley Council, said after the results were reported. “And our communities are better off that all our youth are served.”

Meeting in the Dallas suburb of Grapevine, the 1,400 members of the BSA’s National Council repealed a ban that excluded youth from the organization based only on sexual orientation. A ban on gay adult leaders remains in place.

More than 60 percent of the members supported the proposal.

Nelson said the reaction when the results were read was one of relief. “It was like now we can go back to our business of helping the youth of our communities,” he said.

Scouting was established in 1910 and claims 2.6 million Scouts in the U.S., in addition to thousands of leaders and volunteers.

“Our executive board remains committed to delivering scouting to the Miami Valley regardless of the outcome of the vote,” Nelson said earlier this week. “The thing that we know for sure is that kids need scouting today as much as they will … a week after the vote.”

The Miami Valley Council includes more than 10,000 scouts and 2,800 volunteers in Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Miami and Shelby counties.

David Mauch, district director of the Tecumseh Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which includes Clark County, said he and his district don’t have a stance on the issue. “As an executive, I’m here to serve my community,” he said before the vote.

He declined to comment further and directed questions to the national office.

“This vote marks a monumental step forward for the Boy Scouts of America,” said Rea Carey, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. “We are thrilled for the gay youth who will no longer be turned away from scouting simply because of who they are.’

Carey said the group would continue to push BSA leadership to drop the ban on gay adult leaders.

Two conservative groups opposed to any easing of the ban — the Family Research Council and — placed an ad Thursday in the Dallas Morning News warning that lifting the ban on gay youth would trigger lawsuits that could force the BSA to admit gay adults as well as youth. It said lifting the ban on gay boys could drive out as many as 400,000 Scouts.

Nelson said he had no direct indications of any scouts or sponsors leaving the council because of the decision. “There is always a risk any time there is a major change,” he said.

Research published on the BSA website found a majority of “adults in the Scouting community” support the current ban, but a majority of current Boy Scouts and Venture scouts do not, according to the findings. About 48 percent of parents of current Scouts support the policy, down from 57 percent three years ago.

Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions, both liberal and conservative. Some of the largest sponsors are relatively conservative denominations that have previously supported the broad ban — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in April that it supports the new proposal, and the National Catholic Committee on Scouting has not opposed it.

However, 50 leaders of other conservative religious groups issued a statement imploring the National Council to retain the full ban, warning that easing it “would open the Scouts to a wide range of open sexual expressions.”

The signatories included the leaders of the Assemblies of God, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Protests over the no-gays policy gained momentum in 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the BSA’s right to exclude gays. Scout units lost sponsorships by public schools and other entities that adhered to nondiscrimination policies, and several local Scout councils made public their displeasure with the policy.

“It’s very unfortunate that the political agendas of many have stepped into the Scouting world where we really want to focus on delivering a scouting program to young people and developing their lives for the better,” Nelson said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Catholic Central program connects with students
Catholic Central program connects with students

As our community has become more diverse in recent years, Catholic Central has expanded its mission and admissions by making a faith-centered education available to a more diverse group of students. This school year, a third of Central students are African-American, Hispanic, multi-racial and other ethnicities, including multiple immigrant children...
Pulse survivor files petition against YouTube after 'No shooting happened' video surfaces
Pulse survivor files petition against YouTube after 'No shooting happened' video surfaces

A survivor of the Pulse nightclub massacre is taking legal action to clear his name and reputation, according to a court document. A 10-minute YouTube clip is at the center of a legal petition by Pulse survivor Angel Colon. The video, posted a few days after the Pulse shooting, has been viewed more than 54,000 times. It continues to make rounds...
'NCIS: Los Angeles,' 'Crossing Jordan' actor Miguel Ferrer dead at 61
'NCIS: Los Angeles,' 'Crossing Jordan' actor Miguel Ferrer dead at 61

Actor Miguel Ferrer, who starred in the TV shows "NCIS: Los Angeles” and "Crossing Jordan," in addition to the film "RoboCop" and doing voiceover work in "Mulan," has died at age 61 Thursday, Variety reported. Ferrer had been battling cancer. "Today, 'NCIS: Los Angeles' lost a beloved family member...
What do you want Donald Trump to do once he’s president?
What do you want Donald Trump to do once he’s president?

We asked people this question: What issue is most important to you and what do you want President Trump to deal with in his first 100 days? Here’s a look at what local folks had to say. “I’d like to see him follow through on his idea of reducing the tax coming in, the 15 percent, so that we could repatriate more of the funds that...
Gator leaps into airboat, terrifies Florida tourists
Gator leaps into airboat, terrifies Florida tourists

Just a day after a massive gator’s casual stroll took the Internet by storm, Florida tourists got the thrill of a lifetime, and it was caught on Facebook Live. >> Read more trending stories  Tylor and Emerald Hindery took an airboat ride Tuesday during a vacation in Daytona Beach when an alligator decided to become a...
More Stories