Dark cloud lingers over Boy Scouts with its ban on gays

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by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

azfamily.com

Posted on February 9, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Updated Saturday, Feb 9 at 6:00 PM

PHOENIX -- More than 200 Boy Scouts were at the Capitol on Saturday polishing and maintaining the war memorials and also learning about politics.

But a gray cloud lingers over this century old "patch earning" organization, because of its ban on gays.
          
“We have our national organization and then we have our local councils which really run very much independently to a degree, though we are always affiliated and have to adhere to the policies and procedures of our national office,” said Natalia Ronceria Ceballos with Arizona Boy Scouts. 
 
Under increasing public pressure from gay activist groups the national executive board of Boy Scouts of America was supposed to vote this past Wednesday on whether or not to lift the ban.

Instead, they decided to put it off until May.
 
“We do have to wait and see what is decided and then at that point we can see what is going to happen here at the local level,” said Ronceria Ceballos.
 
“It's kind of like the Marine Corps or other strong organizations, you have core beliefs, you believe in it, I frankly, I fear for the worst,” said State Sen. Al Melvin from District 11.
 
Deep rooted in traditional Christian beliefs, churches often help the Boy Scouts, allowing troops to use their rooms to meet.

Sen. Melvin, an Eagle Scout himself and who helped organize the Capitol cleanup, believes the ban should stay in place.
 
“If the decision is made in May to abandon what the current position is, I think probably, many organizations will walk away from scouting,” said Sen. Melvin.
 
The executive board issued a statement after Wednesday's decision stating "…due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy."

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