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Cub Scout pack rescinds gay-welcoming policy under threat of losing its charter

Saturday, January 26, 2013
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CLOVERLY, Md. — A Cub Scout pack in Maryland has been forced to rescind its gay-inclusive non-discrimination policy in order to keep its charter with the Boy Scouts of America.

Pack 442 of Cloverly, Md., on Saturday removed from its website a previous policy that stated, “Pack 442 WILL NOT discriminate against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability, or sexual orientation.”

On Saturday, the pack’s non-discrimination policy was replaced with this statement:

“Due to pressure from the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of BSA, Pack 442 was forced to remove its Non-Discrimination statement in order to keep our Charter (set to expire Jan 31st). This Non-Discrimination statement, previously posted here, welcomed ALL families.”

The members had until Friday 8 p.m., to decide if they will keep the gay-inclusive policy and possibly not be rechartered, or return to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

The pack’s gay welcoming non-discrimination policy was voted on by member families and “overwhelmingly approved” last August, according to the pack website, which also noted that its chartering organization supported the decision. The matter was discussed in detail with district leaders and the council from August through October 2012.

It was only recently that NCAC contacted pack leaders to inform them they would no longer “allow” the statement to be posted.

Les Baron, Scout Executive of the NCAC, confirmed to NBC News that the pack could lose its charter if it maintained the policy, which he noted was against the Boy Scouts’ longstanding ban on openly gay Scouts or leaders.

“The policy of the Boy Scouts are what they are and my job is to not bring into (it) my own personal feelings, and all I am trying to do is maintain the quality and integrity of the Boy Scouts of America and its policies,” said Baron.

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