NEW YORK — A group of active and former Boy Scouts will be among the groups leading the 44th Annual New York City Pride March on Sunday, June 29, the nation’s oldest and largest LGBT pride event.
New York-area Boy Scouts and members of the Brooklyn Chapter of Scouts for Equality, an organization of Boy Scouts alumni dedicated to ending the BSA’s ban on gay members and leaders, will present the American flag during the national anthem at the NYC Pride March opening ceremony and subsequently serve as Color Guard during the march, reports GLAAD.
The Scouts will lead more than 14,000 participants down New York‘s Fifth Avenue in a celebration of recent advancements made for LGBT equality.
“NYC Pride warmly welcomes Scouts for Equality to the route as our 2014 NYC Pride March Color Guard,” said NYC Pride March Director, Dave Studinski.
“Our 2014 theme is ‘We Have Won When We’re One,’ and this message resonates well with Scouts for Equality’s mission. From their participation in our step-off ceremony through the moment they pass the historic Stonewall Inn, may the Scout’s joint display of our nation’s colors and the rainbow flag remind us all that the LGBT movement seeks not tolerance, but acceptance as equals.”
Among those carrying flags will be David Knapp, 87, who was forced out of the BSA in 1993 after 55 years of service when it was discovered that he is gay, and former BSA Salt Lake City Scoutmaster Peter Brownstein, who was removed from Scouting after he and his Eagle Scout son delivered pizzas to same-sex couples waiting to marry in Utah.
Last year, the Boy Scouts of America’s national council voted to allow openly gay youths to join the organization, but has maintained its prohibition on gay adult leaders.