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Vegas Boy Scouts issue statement in support of gay ban reversal

Reported by: Jerry Brown
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Updated: 5/25/2013 11:37 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Boy Scouts of America has come under fire in recent years regarding its ban on gay scouts and gay scoutmasters.

The issue even made it to the Unites States Supreme Court, where scouting's prohibition on gays was upheld by a 5 to 4 vote.

But the ban was partially lifted Thursday.

News 3's Jerry Brown joins us from the offices of the Boy Scouts Las Vegas Area Council with more information.

Las Vegas Scout leaders remain in Texas at the national meeting but they have told News 3 they support the gay ban reversal.

With the support of 61 percent of the national delegates, proponents of allowing openly gay boys to participate in scouting won a long, hard-fought victory.

The Las Vegas Scouting Council issued the following statement:

"The Las Vegas Area Council supports the decision made by our national scouting family at the national annual meeting of the boy scouts of America."

There are more than 19,000 boys participating in scouting in our valley.

A local scouting executive tells News 3 that the Las Vegas scouting council does not anticipate losing any established scout troops or cub packs over the national policy change.

Reaction at the gay and lesbian community center of southern Nevada was mixed. Former Scout Andy Ros found the policy change ironic.

"I was in two troops when I was in the Boys Scouts and both of my scoutmasters knew that I was gay," said former gay Scout Andy Ros. "We had Jewish scouts, we even had atheists scouts. Again the scoutmasters didn't care as long as you weren't affecting anybody around you in a negative way, and as long as you were focusing on getting your Eagle and getting your badges done."

Ros says he managed to coexist with scouting's anti-gay stance, but many of the boys in his troops who were also gay did not cope as well

"It tore them up inside to be gay because of the positions that the boy scouts took," Ros said.

For this former scout the continued ban on gay scoutmasters is what really hits home.

"My father is gay as well and he was involved in the boy scouts for decades," Ros said.

"It's absolutely ludicrous to me that boy scouts is taking this position that it's ok to be gay now, but if you keep being gay you are going to grow up and be dangerous to children," Ros said.

Changes in social attitudes,he acknowledges, don't happen overnight.

“Any step in the right direction is a step in the right direction, but it's definitely not enough and it is definitely still extremely offensive and my father was an outstanding scoutmaster and a lot of kids got their eagles because of him," Ros said.

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