Reactions mixed on Boy Scouts' possible change in gay policy

January 28, 2013 8:38:47 PM PST
The Boy Scouts of America organization is signaling that it may be ready to openly accept gay scouts and gay scout leaders.

The change could be announced as early as next week.

According to Oak Park resident Rob Breymeier, it's long overdue.

Breymeier was one of the less than four-percent of Boy Scouts who earn the highest status, Eagle Scout.

He was committed to the scouts but he said scouting taught him that discrimination is wrong.

So he mailed back his Eagle Scout medal in protest of the organization's continuing ban on homosexual scouts and leaders.

The scouts are often credited with helping shape young boys into responsible young men and the ban on gays has been around since the beginning of the organization.

Gay rights activist Rick Garcia says he remembers meeting with scout leaders twenty years ago and trying to convince them to lift the ban on gays.

It's the right thing to do, according to Garcia.

"This is a long time coming," he said.

It's not done yet but a spokesman for the national organization says the scouts are close to ending the ban.

A vote could come early next week, much to the dismay of those who support the ban. "I think this is a cowardly act," Illinois Family Institute spokesperson Laurie Higgins said.

After leaving the Boy Scouts Rob Breymeier and other Oak Park parents formed a separate scouting group.

If the change goes through, Breymeier says he could reconsider.