Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

May 23, 2013

Vote on gay Scouts comes at emotional moment

GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America's national leadership will vote Thursday on whether to allow openly gay Scouts in its ranks, a critical and emotionally charged moment for one of the nation's oldest youth organizations and its millions of members.

About 1,400 voting members of BSA's national council are to cast ballots Thursday on a resolution to end a policy that allows youth Scouts to be excluded based only on sexual orientation. The ban on gay adult leaders would remain in place.

The vote is taking place at a resort in Grapevine, Texas, not far from BSA's headquarters, during the national council's three-day annual meeting. The results are expected to be announced shortly after 5 p.m. CDT Thursday.

Gay-rights supporters and opponents have waged impressive campaigns to win support for their arguments in the months leading up to the vote.

Supporters of allowing gay scouts used a political consulting firm and targeted about 120 local Scouting councils where they thought the most votes could be won. Opponents cited Texas code to obtain the names and addresses of voting members from BSA officials so they could send out mailings, and held rallies across the country last week.

Scouting was established in 1910 and claims 2.6 million youth members, in addition to thousands of leaders and volunteers. Its board of directors includes executives and community leaders, and President Barack Obama is its honorary president.

Obama urged the organization to reverse the ban before a national executive board meeting that took place in February, and two high-profile board members — the CEOs of AT&T and Ernst & Young — said they would work from within to change the policy.

The national executive board decided instead to leave the final decision to a national council vote, and the BSA launched a listening tour of surveys and focus groups. BSA President Wayne Perry called on voters to approve the resolution overturning the ban in an opinion piece for USA Today published online Wednesday.

Findings that BSA published on its website illustrate the difficult balancing act it faces.

It said a majority of "adults in the Scouting community" support the current ban, but a majority of current Boy Scouts and Venture scouts do not, according to the findings. About 48 percent of parents of current Scouts support the policy, down from 57 percent three years ago.

One estimate suggested a policy change could cause as many as 100,000 to 350,000 Scouts to leave. And it could also affect donors — just more than half of local councils reported to BSA that their donors supported the current ban.

Of the more than 100,000 Scouting units in the U.S., 70 percent are chartered by religious institutions. While these sponsors include liberal churches opposed to any ban on gays, some of the largest sponsors are relatively conservative denominations that have previously supported the broad ban — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced in April that it supports the new proposal. Leaders of some smaller, conservative denominations have opposed it.

"Ultimately we can't anticipate how people will vote but we do know that the result will not match everyone's personal preference," said Deron Smith, BSA's national spokesman.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Breaking News
  • Judge: Pence contradicted himself on gay marriage INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has taken Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to task, saying Pence told the court he had no power to enforce Indiana's gay marriage ban and then ordered executive agencies to do so following court rulings. Judge Richard Youn

    August 20, 2014

  • Friends honor Indiana teen killed in plane crash PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Friends of a central Indiana teenager who died in a Pacific Ocean airplane crash honored him as his high school's soccer team played its first home game of the season. Dozens of people wearing white T-shirts bearing Haris Sul

    August 20, 2014

  • Indiana wants ban on abortion pill law lifted INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State attorneys are asking a federal judge to lift an order blocking an Indiana abortion pill law that critics claim targets a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette. The attorneys say women could seek the procedure elsewhere. Th

    August 19, 2014

  • Central Indiana reservoir foes back river trails DALEVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Environmental groups are proposing a system of trails to promote use of the White River in central Indiana rather than damming it for a planned seven-mile-long reservoir. The Mounds Greenway proposed by the groups would connec

    August 19, 2014

  • Semi hits concrete that fell from I-74 bridge ST. LEON, Ind. (AP) — State police say semitrailer crashed after it struck a large piece of concrete that fell from a bridge onto Interstate 74 in southeastern Indiana. Sgt. Noel Houze says the section of concrete was about 2 cubic feet and fell Mon

    August 19, 2014

  • Woman pleads guilty of trying to abduct baby MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — A central Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from an attack during which police say she wrapped an electrical cord around a mother's throat and demanding she hand over her 3-week-old daughter. Thirty-five-year-o

    August 19, 2014

  • Loretta Rush Indiana's 1st female chief justice

    August 6, 2014

  • US Exhibition Basketb_Kova.jpg Doctors say Paul George faces long rehab after leg break

    Doctors say Paul George's biggest battle is yet to come, and it may take a year or more before he returns to the Pacers lineup.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palest_Kova (1).jpg Netanyahu warns Hamas against more rocket fire

    Israel's prime minister has warned Hamas that it will "pay an intolerable price" if it continues to fire rockets at Israel and that Israeli troops will operate as long as necessary to restore calm for Israeli citizens.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toledo Water Problems_Kova.jpg Ohio's 4th-largest city, Toledo: Don't drink the water

    Toxins possibly from algae on Lake Erie fouled the water supply of the state's fourth-largest city Saturday, forcing officials to issue warnings not to drink the water and the governor to declare a state of emergency as worried residents descended on stores, quickly clearing shelves of bottled water.

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller