Boy Scouts may allow local troops to set policy on gays

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In September, the community’s BSA Pack 442 voted to “not discriminate” against any individual or family based on sexual orientation.

The National Capital Area Council, which governs the Maryland pack, contested the decision, and Pack 442 said it removed its statement to avoid losing its charter, which expires Jan. 31. It plans to discuss the “rechartering” issue at a Feb. 3 meeting, the pack said on its website.

According to media reports and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, BSA packs in California and Ohio have forfeited their charters over the policy. Last year, a Jewish academy in New Jersey said it could not renew its Boy Scout charter because of the BSA’s “egregious” policy.

The United Way of Greater Cleveland also announced last year that it would not include BSA in its appeals.

“As a private organization, they have the right to determine who they serve and who will serve them. We, however, have the right to fund only those organizations that comply with our new policy,” said Paul Clark, the board chairman of United Way of Cleveland, referring to the addition of “sexual orientation” to United Way’s diversity policy.

BSA even ran into headwinds with its upcoming series, “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?”

The series, designed to show that Scouting is “cool,” is still set to air on the National Geographic Channel, but was lambasted by gay-rights groups for the BSA’s policy.

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