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Connecticut Boy Scout Council Will Allow Gays

The Boy Scouts of America's Connecticut Yankee Council, which covers dozens of Connecticut towns, is breaking with the national organization and will now allow openly gay people to join.

Credit: Patch File Photo
Credit: Patch File Photo
This story was written by Paul Petrone. It was reposted by Eileen McNamara.

MILFORD, CT - On May 23, The Boy Scouts of America's Connecticut Yankee Council, which runs camps in several towns and has members from dozens more communities, broke with the national Boy Scouts in announcing that it will now allow gay adults and youths. On Thursday, the national BSA announced it would admit gay youths only. It was a major change for the national organization, but it did not go as far as the Connecticut Yankee Council.

Last Friday, Connecticut Yankee Council President Michael Abrahamson posted a letter on the council's website entitled "Scouting is for Everyone." In it, he explains why his council will no longer ban openly gay members.

"Scouting in the Connecticut Yankee Council is open to all youth and adults who subscribe to the values of the Scout Oath and Law regardless of their personal sexual orientation," Abrahamson wrote. "All our Scouts and leaders must display the highest levels of good conduct and any sexual conduct within Scouting is unacceptable. Our charter partners retain the responsibility to select the best possible leadership for their units consistent with their moral values."

The Connecticut council has districts that cover most of the western shoreline of Connecticut, starting in Madison, and runs camps in North Haven and Killingworth.

The group GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which has lobbied for the Boy Scouts to repeal its ban on gays, heralded the Connecticut Council's decision as "courageous."

"The Connecticut Yankee Council has taken a courageous move in favor of equality for Scouts and adult leaders. By allowing any qualified youth and adult to participate, regardless of sexual orientation, the Council is demonstrating that fairness is more important than fear," said Rich Ferraro, a GLAAD spokesman. "We hope that the Boy Scouts of America will follow their lead and listen to a majority of Americans who believe Scouting should be open to all."
Molly Nolan May 22, 2013 at 04:23 PM
Congratulations to the Connecticut Yankee Council and the many people they serve!
Kimberly Schroeder May 23, 2013 at 01:09 AM
I was in Monroe Troupe 63 as a kid and had mostly good memories. I was never ashamed that i was a scout, but i am very, very proud to have been a part a troupe that supported such a brave and noble act. Thanks guys i can sleep better tonight knowing you are there to help our great nation get through this difficult time! Kim (Kurt) Schroeder @>--->----->-------------------
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) May 23, 2013 at 08:14 PM
I bet they'll win the sailboat regatta a lot. Good at the old blowing, you know?
Jett Johnson May 25, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Is it okay to say the Scouts are gay now?
Albert Gazalooch May 26, 2013 at 03:01 AM
Scouting should be open to all! I hope they end the discriminatory practice of not allowing rehabilitated former child sex offenders as leaders! If they have been rehabilitated and no longer a threat to society, they should have that right!
Bob Cerani May 28, 2013 at 07:02 PM
I am totally against this and I would hope that a branch of the scouts is formed in the next couple of years for the purity of life in the future.

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