The leader of a center for gay youth and those questioning their sexuality is reacting to the Boy Scouts of America vote to include openly gay scouts. It’s being seen as a positive step – but a
Gay Kids who want to be scouts will benefit by the decision. But AIDS Community Resources Director Michael Crinnin first wonders if local scouting troops will make them feel welcome.
"Are you ever going to feel safe if you're a gay kid to say 'I'm gay or might be gay.' But the second thing is, all these noble ideals that the Boy Scouts present," Crinnin said. "You could rise up the ranks and you could graduate with an Eagle Scout and then be told we don't want anything to do with you because by the way you're gay and we can't have you involved with our boys"
Crinnin’s referring to the Boy Scouts’ decision not to consider allowing gay leaders of troops.
LOCAL SCOUTS REACTION
After the vote, the local Longhouse Council Scout Governing body said it opposes the inconsistency between youth and adult membership…and says it has never barred or removed an adult for sexual orientation. The local body went into this week’s vote supporting inclusion…and said all youth who subscribe to scout oath and principles should be open to membership. (Longhouse Council Statement after vote)
Crinnin’s organization runs the Q-center, for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth…who, he worries, now could just hear another negative reminder.
"It's like I'm always being discussed. You know my sexual orientation is always a matter of like huge debate. It's debated in the churches; it's debated in government; it's debated in the schools and so it's hard to feel good about yourself when you feel like, 'oh now it's the Boy Scouts who are going to say if I'm worthwhile or not."
The Longhouse Council oversees six-thousand scouts in Onondaga and five other counties and seems ready to adopt the change. Back in 2001, then chancellor Kenneth Shaw barred use the Carrier Dome for local scouts’ Boypower dinner, because the anti-gay policy went against university policies of acceptance. A Cayuga County troop was also asked to leave an HSBC bank building in Auburn over the policy in 2002.