Bay Area Boy Scouts support LGBT members after poll asking if gay leader could be trusted

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An East Bay Boy Scouts council will give its backing to LGBT equality when the resolution is discussed by the Scouts’ National Council in May. The decision follows a survey carried out by the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council (MDSC) which found that a resounding majority of its members supported LGBT inclusion. 

The MDSC found that 65% of respondents believed the “national policy should be changed to include LGBT individuals.” The view of Scout members was even more definitive with 81% favoring LGBT equality. 

This poll comes in the midst of a controversial questionnaire recently issued separately by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to leaders and parents. This survey asked participants questions such as whether it’s okay for a “gay adult leader to take adolescent boys on an overnight camping trip.” 

It also asks whether it would be acceptable for a homosexual scout and a heterosexual scout to share a tent and if a troop’s faith should determine whether someone is allowed membership.

The BSA insists it is engaging in a “listening phase” before its National Council meets May 22-24 in Texas to decide their LGBT policy. 

The move by the MDSC to push for anti-discrimination comes despite the fact it was the same council that expelled gay teen Ryan Andresen, having denied him Eagle status last year.   

Their report on LGBT membership says: “We believe the MDSC board should vote to support a set of principles that represent the views of the majority of our members. Further, we believe our board should vote to advocate for these principles. 

“Finally we believe our board should vote to encourage our national board representatives to vote in a manner consistent with these principles.”

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