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GRAPEVINE, Texas (WWAY) — The Boy Scouts of America National Council voted 61 percent in favor of allowing openly gay young men into the club, on Thursday.

“I don’t have a problem with you being gay, but I don’t want women in the Boy Scouts, I don’t want gays in the Boy Scouts,” Thurman Burgess, a former Wilmington Boy Scout said.

With the lift of the ban, Burgess says the organization should not be called the Boy Scouts of America any longer.

“Just say we have scouts. Let anyone in who wants to be in it, but if its boy scouts, leave it Boy Scouts,” Burgess said.

Burgess goes on to say that he also feels this decision may place Scouts at risk.

“Predators find those opportunities to ease into situations and make gays and lesbians look like they are all predators,” Burgess feels.

There are also concerns that the decision will in turn obligate the Boy Scout leaders to teach sexuality to our youth.

“We will be required to teach homosexuality to young boys, as young as six, and have to explain to them what that is. I think that sexual discussion needs to be at home with the parents,” Brad Kiser, a Cub Scout parent said.

Others support the decision and say a male’s sexuality should not be a factor in joining the 100 year old organization.

“I don’t think it should be a concern of anyone else’s,” Walker Payne, of Wilmington said.

Jennifer Tyrell, a former pack leader believes “it is a small step in the right direction, but huge in other ways.”

The change will be effective at the start of next year.

The decision does not reverse the ban on gay scout leaders.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    Perhaps for some individual congregations that will certainly be true, however for quite a few the the hierarchy of those churches may have already relaxed their attitudes towards gays.
    Given the nature of the Scouts my prediction is that by next year this will not be in the news anymore…..
    This will be interesting to watch


  • Vog46

    I wonder how many Scout Leaders would be left if we went after the adulterers with the same viciousness we’re going after gays?


  • Guest321

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 [edit]Wycliffe Bible (1382): “Whether ye know not, that wicked men shall not wield the kingdom of God? Do not ye err; neither lechers, neither men that serve maumets [neither men serving to idols], neither adulterers, neither lechers against kind, neither they that do lechery with men”

    Amplified Version (1987): “Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality”

    However- this are boys we are talking about-maybe if they went to church this wouldn’t be an issue.

  • 3agleOne

    A) its disturbing that adults have pushed sexual orientation onto their kids. My mom and dad don’t go around screaming in straight. They don’t don’t because I’m a kid. What I’m gona be when I’m older really isn’t on my agenda. I’m just tryin 2 get outta school an go2 college.
    I’m not tryin 2 ho an join a lez or a gay club cause its for gay people. If they had a gay scouts of America I wouldnt wanna join that either.. Cause yep.. You hot it.. Not gay. At tha sane time I’m not gonna bash em or hate on em cause its wrong wrong be nalean to people. The law I say tells me to kind.. Why would I wanna go disturb somethin up that would cause divide? Why would I wanna put ny brother in a place where he wouldn’t be accepted. They nay think they will but really.. Not do much. Why would u fo that 2 ur kid? I don’t get it. Dude that kid would get so picked on and people would be mean and stuff. .
    a scout is loyal. The people who voted, voted to destroy a tradition based on being morally straight in the eyed of a religion that doesn’t tolerate it and ya hot all these big company veros an stuff who are savin face so they don’t look bad cause they atd sellnouts and they suck.w that’s why they voted yea. Dude really hows a 12 year old know he’s gay or not. Thanks for screwin up scouting and naki gays and straights dislike other more this s so stupid grow up. Maybe I should go an join that gay girl scouts an sell frikkin cookies. At least its easier to sell than stupid popcorn. Maybe well sell rainbow scout stickers next year or God made Adam & Steve hats haha grownups are so dumb if they were day an already in there an everything was cool like done of u day, then why screw it up for both sides,an make it all more bad

  • Wilmington Observer

    This vote (by BSA) will cause many churches to take a firm stance regarding their teachings against homosexuality (as with all sins) and cause a split in many of the, local, churches who currently have active scouting groups utilizing their facilities.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Wilmington Observer

    Firstly, let me re-affirm that I am, TOTALLY, against the BSA vote. And, as stated, above, I believe that this is yet another step in the continued, moral, decline of America.

    With that said, I do agree with the sentiment of your post, save four words; “they have NO morals”. I agree that the actions and lifestyle of homosexuals is immoral, sinful and unnatural. However, there could, and most likely are other parts of these persons’ lives that are, morally, upstanding. To say that they have NO morals is a, bit, strong. But, I do appreciate your, overall, stance.

    I so NOT “hate” homosexuals but I do hate their “homosexual lifestyle”.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Wilmington Observer

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness, but I said, EXACTLY, what I meant to say. But, if believing otherwise makes you feel better……

    Wilmington Observer

  • Vog46

    And passionate arguments on both sides.
    60% of the supporters are churches.
    61% of the National council voted to accept gay scouts but NOT gay scout leaders.
    That’s an interesting codicil – it “tacitly” profiles gay leaders as potentially dangerous.
    So has Scouting gone soft? Or have the Churches that support Scouting gone soft on gays?
    Scouting is big for those between the ages of 5 and 11.
    Then it tapers off in popularity. It is rare to see scouts aged 15 to 18 anymore. I would have to assume that its this age group 15 to 18 years of age that we are concerned about. They are knowledgeable at that age of what being gay is, and means – yet they are the vast MINORITY of scouts.
    Are we worried that perhaps some of them will actually “come out” at that age? Is it that we don’t “want to know” if our sons are gay? Is that the real reason for the uproar?
    It is a conundrum for sure. A church is supposed to be forgiving – even for blatant sinners – yet we harbor lasting hatred and disgust for homosexuals.
    This was a very curious vote……..


  • Wilmington Observer

    Or gluttonous people eating Big Macks

    Wilmington Observer

  • EjrGuest

    Scouting has been part of our family for over 30 years but the leadership of the scouts have sold out the Scouting program and more importantly the boys of our country. The leaders that voted for this have brought shame to the scouts and have no right to be in a leadership role.

  • Guest2020

    Enough said.

  • Guest2020

    Don’t you know that we Christians aren’t entitled to the same freedom of speech as every other American? We should always be taxed for our opinions while others give theirs for free.

  • Guest2020

    You can love a person without condonig their behavior.

  • Guest2020

    Men having any kind of sex with boys are homosexual, not straight. Whether the abused boys thought the leaders were straight or not, doesn’t really matter. The reality of the situation is what matters.

  • Guest2020

    Aside from the fact that teaching kids right from wrong is the responsibility of the parents, why would you put the teaching of right from wrong with an organization that openly condones wrong behavior?

    Yes, forgiveness comes from God, through Christ, but the person must repent, which means to turn away from. If a person lives a lifestyle of sin, they are not repentant.

  • Guest_Bull_Isht

    G-Reality… it sounds like you need some serious de-programming there. I will stand corrected and restate my sentiment a little differently: Tax All Religious Institutions. I am tired of hearing “religiously” motivated hate that serves to do nothing than make life miserable for gays.

  • Guest5555555

    How do you know these “straight” leaders actually were straight? Maybe they were as gay as they come but kept it a secret. Look at the BTK killer who pretended to be such a church going upright guy in the community. Married and with children. People can fool you. The Boy Scouts is a terrific place for gays and pedophiles. They’ll bring down this organization in no time flat.

    I’m not all that religious, but I know God says that homosexuality is an “abomination”. I take him at his word.

  • craig

    I met a young man (boy) who was obviously gay. His dad got sick thinking about it. His dad told me “why would my son be gay with all the scrutiny that he will go through”. This opened my eyes. I used to think it was a choice until I met this boy. The scouts will/are changing. They will thin and many will be left without churches to meet in. In 2-3 years they will rebound and be stronger than ever. Instead of homophobia and prejudice I think we all could use some tolerance. I am the father of 3 very heterosexual boys. I would be very proud if they wanted to be scouts today, yesterday and tomorrow.

  • GuestReality

    Have you ever have an original idea of your own? This is the same old tired, worn out chant that jumps up everytime a non-Christian gets frustrated and can’t express themselves well and don’t know what else to say. They try to change the topic to attack the church to make themselves feel more self-righteous. In actuality, it just makes you look ignorant.

  • David

    As I am reading the above comments; I can not help but surmise that the real moral issue is being overlooked. We are talking about “children” and “boys” here in a sexual context. The so called morally evolving America that I see is ramming sexuality,of every kind,down the throats of our children from every angle. And with that comes the depravity that we see and hear about in the news everyday. Can’t we just let them be children for a short portion of there lives? It is my understanding that the age limit for scouts is 17 or 18, and the number of participants that continue at this age is substantially lower. Are we really talking about gay tweens? I believe that as a moral society, we should be encouraging our children to study hard, and play outside a little more. There will be time for practicing one’s bedroom preferences later in life.

    On a side note: I was a few merit badges away from obtaining Eagle rank when I was sexually assaulted by my troop leader. I quit scouting then and there. The potential for gay scouts to become gay scout leaders; either openly or in secret; is certainly very high.

  • Guest_Bull_Isht

    It’s time that the laws be changed to tax the Church. It has leeched off of society for too many generations.


    Gay activists and liberals routinely “play the bigot card” and overuse the word to describe anyone opposed to homosexuals. Is doesn’t matter what your reasons are. It doesn’t matter if you’re fine with gays but not gay Boy scouts. It doesn’t matter what your morals or beliefs are.You could say that people who overuse the word bigot are in fact bigots themselves, because they insult an entire group of people with this blanket statement. By using the rude pejorative “bigot,” they dehumanize their opponents by slandering them as ignorant rubes who aren’t worth a damn.

  • Joe Bowman

    Thank for speaking up with a reasonable and experienced voice. Scouts just want to go camping and learn wilderness skills, gay or straight. They shouldn’t have to lie to be able to do it.

  • DP101

    Boys sure don’t need to be learning about sex/relationships with other boys. Sex education needs to be in the home. I cannot believe that a BOY could even be considered gay (unless he had help)

  • Office Fan

    And so continues the evolution of American society away from long outdated views based on intolerance towards a society that truly views all citizens as created equal. You are forgiven for your narrow-mindedness though Observer, not everyone can live their own life without having a 1500 year old book tell them how to do it.

    September (The only good Observer)

  • Native American

    If you want your children to learn how to tie a knot, build a fire, camping, canoeing, survival….teach them yourself.

    I could care less what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom as long as it stays there and doesn’t involve children, the mentally handicapped or Chihuahua…

  • Monkey Junction

    Amazing that your incoherent thoughts were in the longest sentence ever.

  • Guesteeeeeeee

    but it had everything to do with agenda driven adults forcing their beliefs onto an organization to prove a point. Nothing more. They wanted to change a rule for the sake of ideology.

    The Boy Scouts are funded and heavily supported by religious groups. We’ll see if that support remains but I wouldn’t be optimistic about that. Those who forced this issue will not care about the damage they’ve done when they hear that the Scouts have disbanded in a few years. They’ll shrug their shoulders and mutter “Well, um, that’s what they get for being anti-gay all those years. Too bad I could change them sooner. They might have had a chance.” These people operate strictly on ideology. And now, they’ll move onto the next organization and they will not care when the Boy Scouts don’t exist because that wasn’t their concern.

  • Guest1889

    I see you’ve been listening to Limbaugh again. Have you ever had an original thought in your life? Oh, by the way, if you’re going to trash us, at least learn how to spell liberal. Have a nice day.

  • Vog46

    The Boy Scouts are one of those very rare United States Title 36 Corporations giving them certain controls over their logo and name etc.
    I also noted that of the top 10 chartered organizations by youth enrollment that 6 of the 10 organizations were religious organizations.
    Yet, 61% of the voters voted to accept openly gay scouts……

    This is eye opening to say the least…


  • adult leader

    I am an adult leader in a local Boy Scout Troop. It truly does not bother me one bit that this passed. It would not bother me if the BSA allowed gay leaders. What bothers me are the past years of sexual abuse to scouts by so-called straight leaders. Ask those abused young men if they thought there leader was gay or not. I am sure if an openly gay man or woman is a leader of a troop they will know that all eyes will be on them. It is the sneaky child molester that would concern me. I am married and no I am not gay. I just have an open mind and treat people fairly and with respect. What pisses me off are all of the daily Christian sinners that judge everyone else except for themselves! What kills me is that some of you really do not believe that there weren’t already gay scouts in the BSA. That all of the sudden the rainbow coalition will be teaching merit badges. Please!! Before you judge others, look in your own mirror!!

  • GuestReality

    They don’t hate anyone. They just hate homosexuality.

  • Guest5555555

    “A sin is a Sin and all sins are forgiven by Christ and before God.”

    True, but only if the person committing the sin realizes their sin is abhorrent to God, asks God for forgiveness, and turns away from that sin. If they did that, there would be no gay Boy Scouts, now would there?

  • GuestReality

    They already know right from wrong, and that the gay lifestyle they’re living is wrong. They don’t need to be in Boy Scouts to learn that. They need to learn it from their own parents and a moral society, which America is obviously getting away from; but that will never make it right.

  • GuestReality

    Are you listening to yourself? Do you really believe your own drivel? You actually believe that gay boy scouts can now be “morally straight”? That they can live their lives with “honesty”? That they are “clean” in their speech and actions, and they’re persons of “strong character”? You’re delusional!

    A gay boy scout is totally opposite from all of that! They have no morals, their speech and actions are dirty and repugnant, and their strong character is only in their own minds. As you yourself said, “there have always been gay scouts, they just had to lie about until now”. That should give you some idea of their “strong character” when they have to lie to cover up their lifestyles.

    BSA didn’t “do the right thing”. They caved in to the pressure they received from gay rights groups with powerful lawyers. Now they’ve become as sissy pants as the gay scouts they will be admitting.

  • notasheeple

    yes yes we all know homosexuality is a sin and I will admit I am not the best Christian example but i will but my cent in on this. A sin is a Sin and all sins are forgiven by Christ and before God.

    I don’t approve of the life style but there is no way I am going to keep a child from learning right from wrong and the values scouts can teach

  • burgerboy

    The appallingly ignorent sentiment’s spewed forth from the hatches of the pro homosexuol community on this matter is absurd, which is to be expected from a hotbed of libberal activity like wilmington, and furthermore, the homosexuols don’t want to get married or go to boy scouts in the first place, they just want to stir up trouble for everyone and get everyone to pay attention to them and think that they are special littel snowflakes because of their sexual orientation, and furthermore, the people who get on here and rail against and condemn heterosexuolity are probably secretly heterosexuol themselves, and don’t honestly belive what they are saying, it was just taught to them by their marxist-leninist-ooga-boogaist college educated libber parents, handing down igorance to the sheeple masses, so in conclusion if you want a gay pride pink boy scout parade gay day fiesta go to commiefornia please, ha!

  • Guest1889

    That’s right, folks. Just find someone else to hate in the name of the Lord.

  • GuestREPLY


  • Wilmington Observer

    And so continues the, moral, degradation of America.

    Wilmington Observer

  • joe bowman

    I was a boy scout and I had a great time and I have stayed away from it as an adult because I have a gay son. I just couldn’t support a group that wouldn’t accept my boy. Thank you, BSA for having the courage to do the right thing. This reaffirms my opinion that the Boy Scouts is really one of the greatest organizations in the USA.

    BTW, there have always been gay scouts, they just had to lie about until now. Now those scouts can actually fulfill the last part of the Boy Scout oath: Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.

  • BlueVeto

    I’m disappointed in BSA. Can’t anyone take a stand for God anymore? I will no long respect nor support.

  • GuestReality


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