Crystal Lake church evicts Boy Scouts over policy allowing gay scouts

June 3, 2013 8:42:42 PM PDT
A northwest suburban Boy Scout troop is looking for a new place to meet after a church cut ties because of the organization's new gay policy.

"There was nothing you all could have or should have done, other than being good scouts," said Charlie Payseur, Boy Scout Troop 550 scoutmaster.

A Boy Scout troop is homeless tonight and meeting in a nature preserve after a church essentially evicted them.

"I think they really should have given us a heads up warning so we could have found a charter instead of sitting at a picnic table," said Robby Barton, Boy Scout.

"Watch out! I'm the first and I doubt I'm going to be the last," said Payseur.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church has been this troop's home since it was formed five years ago. Two days ago, the scouts received this letter in which the pastor writes: "As a former Boy Scout, I know how uncomfortable it would have been to have to be in close proximity with boys that would perhaps be looking at me as more than just a friend."

"It's very hard for them to understand. They don't understand what a homosexual is let alone what the whole controversy is. My wife and I had to have a very tough conversation with them last night," said Bob Barton, assistant Scoutmaster.

The Boy Scouts of America changed its policy last month to allowing openly-gay scouts, but not scout leaders.

Tonight a Boy Scouts spokesman tells ABC7: "We are unaware of any [church] that believes a youth member simply stating he or she is attracted to the same sex, but not engaging in sexual activity, should make him or her unwelcome in their congregation."

These kids, some as young as 11, say they are more focused on scouting than sexuality.

"We'll find a better place. A place that's more welcoming to us," said Sam Payseur, Eagle Scout.

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