Clarksville Scout Leader Resigns Over Gay Scouts Ban - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Clarksville Scout Leader Resigns Over Gay Scouts Ban

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Bill Moser Bill Moser

by Emily Luxen

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. - A longtime Boy Scout leader resigned from a leadership position, in an effort to take a stand against the organization's anti-gay policy.

Bill Moser's decision came after the Middle Tennessee Council announced it will not support a policy change that would allow openly gay scouts to participate.

Moser has been involved in scouting in various capacities for 50 years. He is currently the Chairman of the Cogioba District Camping Committee which oversees Houston, Montgomery and Stewart Counties as well as Fort Campbell. 

He reports to the Middle Tennessee Council.  He said the decision to resign was easy because he doesn't agree with the council's views. 

"There's Scout law, and Scout oath, and that's what we should be following," said Moser. "We don't teach intolerance."

Moser said the organization's current policy which would require openly gay scouts to either lie about their sexuality, or resign isn't fair, and he thinks it needs to change.

"I believe when a boy joins scouting at 6 years old he doesn't have a clue as to what his sexual orientation is," said Moser.  "So if he turns 14 and is going through one of the toughest times of his life, we don't need stupid rules that say ‘you're gay.  You can't be a scout anymore.'"

Responding to Moser's resignation, Middle Tennessee Council marketing executive Kim Brisson issued this statement:

"We recognize that there are people on both sides of the Boy Scout membership policy issue. We have spent countless hours polling the volunteers and parents of the Middle Tennessee Council and believe it is in the best interest of our organization to uphold the current policy and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. We understand not everyone will agree with our decision, but we must represent the majority wishes of our current members."

Moser said the Middle Tennessee Council never surveyed people associated with his troop, and he believes others are also against the anti-gay policy.

"What's frustrating is when you have somebody come out and say this is what everyone thinks and you were never queried," said Mosier.

Moser said even though he won't hold a leadership council,  he hopes to continue to help out with Troop 500. 

He said the debate has been taking away from what the Boy Scouts of America aims to do.

"We are trying to set examples for young men to be good citizens."

The Executive Committee of the National Boy Scouts will vote on changing the policy at a meeting on May 23 in Texas.


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