Boy Scouts propose to lift gay ban - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Boy Scouts propose to lift gay ban

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TYLER (KYTX) - The Boy Scouts of America has proposed to lift a ban on openly gay members.

There are mixed emotions about the proposal.

It would allow for openly gay boys to be members, but not allow for any leaders to be openly gay.

But many say it's a step forward.

Parents like Monica Jones in East Texas heard the news this morning about the Boy Scouts possibly accepting openly gay members.

"I think should be together, don't judge them. Treat everyone equal," says Jones.

Jones says she sides with the decision, down to not allowing gay leaders within the more than 100 year old organization.

"Don't think this country is ready for that just yet," says Jones.

"I think it's huge, but concerns me the Scouts think still are treating homosexuality as if it's a communicable disease," says Karen Wilkerson with Tyler Area Gays.

Wilkerson says she was a Girl Scout growing up, and believes kids need to have the chance to learn the core values.

"Trustworthiness is one of the hallmarks, and if a child can't be open about who he or she is, how can they grow up to be healthy Americans?" says Wilkerson.

The Boy Scouts of America began gathering feedback from inside and outside the organization in February before making the proposal.

In an emailed statement, the Boy Scouts said, "throughout this process, we work to stay focused on that which unites us -- reaching and serving young people..."

The East Texas Area Council says, "our information helped provide perspective to the process, and we respect the integrity of the national decision-making process."

Still, a huge point of contention across the country, one that hedges the moral values of so many.

"Is a process, I hope, that scouting will accommodate everybody," says Wilkerson.

"Being a Christian, I do believe homosexuality isn't right, but in the world we live in, we have to deal with it and tolerate it," says Jones.

It's still just a proposal, which means the issue has to be voted on next month by the scout's national council.

A conservative coalition formed to lobby the scouts called OnMyHonor.org say the organization caved to outside pressure, and gay activists across the country are asking them to open up to gay leaders.

The vote will take place between 1,400 councils.

It will be at the annual national meeting May 20th in Irving.

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