Los Angeles scout leaders: No good choice in new gay scouting proposal

From Staff and WIre Reports

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles scout leaders say the Boy Scouts of America‘s proposal to lift the ban for gay youth members, but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders, does not go far enough.

David Meshulam, the president of the Scouts’ Los Angeles Area Council who will be voting on the move next month, told the Los Angeles Times Monday that a vote either way would prolong anti-gay discrimination.

Meshulam compared the decision to the film and novel “Sophie’s Choice,” where a Polish woman must choose which of her children to spare during the Holocaust.

A vote either way on the proposal would continue discrimination in one of America’s oldest and most traditional youth organizations, Meshulam said. As a result, his group, one of several major councils in Southern California, has proposed admitting anyone who meets Scouting’s standards.

“The focus should be on a person’s conduct, measured against BSA’s standards of conduct, not a person’s status as homosexual or heterosexual,” the proposal reads in part.

“In my heart, I know that it is absolutely vital that we include everybody,” Meshulam said in an interview, acknowledging that his views are not shared by all councils in his region, much less across the country.

The Scouts announced last week that they would submit the compromise proposal to the roughly 1,400 voting members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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