SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— A proposal by the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on gay scouts while continuing to exclude gay adults from serving as leaders has offended two gay legislators from San Francisco.
California State Assemblyman Tom Ammiano and State Senator Mark Leno have been waiting impatiently for decades for the Boy Scouts to change their position on gay scouts, so they consider this latest announcement bittersweet.
The current debate was sparked when Moraga teen Ryan Andresen, who was denied his Eagle Scout award and kicked out of the Boy Scouts last year because he is gay.
“The part about you still cannot be a scout leader if you’re gay is very offensive,” Ammiano said of the new proposal from Boy Scouts of America.
Sen. Leno said this proposed policy change is actually a step backward.
“The message remains that there is something evil, something dangerous, something suspect by banning gay adults from the organization, so the message is actually potentially more destructive than the status quo,” he said.
Ammiano said this shows that the Boy Scouts still don’t get it.
“My druthers is that they just bite the apple and get off the pot and just recognize gay people no matter what their age or gender,” Ammiano said.
The policy change will be voted on at a Scout’s National Council meeting in May. The Boy Scouts have faced criticism over denying Eagle badges to scouts who come out as gay.
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