Middle Tennessee Scouts Group Backs Current Policy - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Middle Tennessee Scouts Group Backs Current Policy

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Middle Tennessee Council of the Boy Scouts said it is not supporting a proposal to partially lift the group's long-standing exclusion of gays.

In a statement released Tuesday, the Nashville-based council said it will vote to support the current national membership policy at the Boy Scouts of America's National Council meeting during the week of May 20 in Texas.

The BSA unveiled a proposal in April that said no youth may be denied membership "on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." A ban would continue on leadership roles for adults who are openly gay or lesbian.

The policy currently reads that the Boy Scouts do "not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, but does not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the Boy Scouts of America."

Middle Tennessee Council Board President Lee Beaman said it is the council's duty to uphold the current policy, which bars openly gay members.

Hugh Travis, Scout Executive for the Middle Tennessee Council, issued a statement:

"The Middle Tennessee Council Executive Board has reviewed all of the comments and surveys completed locally on behalf of the national and local council. The results overwhelmingly signify that the parents, leaders and chartered partners in the Middle Tennessee Council believe that the current membership policy is a core value of the Scout Oath and Law. Our delegates who will be voting members on the proposed resolution at the national business meeting on May 22-24th will not vote to approve the resolution, but to retain the current membership policy".

The Middle Tennessee Council is an independent nonprofit organization separate from but chartered by Boy Scouts of America to organize Scouting units and manage all Scouting programs in a 37-county region in Tennessee from the Tennessee River in the west to the Cumberland Plateau in the east, including Fort Campbell, Ky.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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