Boy Scouts Delay Vote On Gay Members, Westchester Responds

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The Boy Scouts of America's executive board has put off its decision on whether to lift a ban on gay members. Some Scouts are seen here at a Texas meeting. Photo Credit: Flickr user Fort Meade

YONKERS, N.Y. - The expected vote from the Boy Scouts of America's national executive board on whether to lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders was postponed Wednesday in Irving, Texas.

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Do you think Boy Scouts of America should lift its policy that refuses gay members?

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Reader Results

Do you think Boy Scouts of America should lift its policy that refuses gay members?

  • Yes, I support the policy change as it is

    17%
  • Yes, and they should not allow local chapter to continue refusing gay members

    48%
  • No, Boy Scouts of America has a right to maintain the policy

    35%
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The Boy Scouts of America released a statement saying it will take action on the resolution at its national meeting in May to allow its thousands of members a chance to offer input on what has become a controversial matter.

Yonkers residents were split on the issue with some saying the Scouts should not be pressured into changing policy and others believing the bias against gay members or leaders is unfair.

Stanley Howie, a former scoutmaster for Troop 4 in Yonkers, said he had mixed feelings on the issue. But regardless of how the board votes, Howie said it should create a uniform policy and not leave it up to local troops to set their own policies.

"I think it would be putting too much pressure on individual troops,” he said. “The National Executive Board should have to decide one way or the other.”

Westchester-Putnam Council Scout Executive Marc Andreo could not say what lifting the ban would mean for the local troops until the council is notified of the discussion's outcome.

"We're aware of the ongoing discussion among the national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America regarding the national membership policy and are encouraged by the ongoing dialogue," Andreo wrote in an email.

"Our goal has always been to provide the best youth leadership and development program with the best volunteer leadership to as many young people as possible."

In a poll on The Daily Voice, a majority of readers said they felt the Boy Scouts should lift the ban on gay members. Susan Garcin agreed in a comment on The Yonkers Daily Voice Facebook site.

"This shouldn't be an issue at all,” she wrote last week. “Who cares if a person is gay?”

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