Group pushes to keep open gays out of Boy Scouts

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ORLANDO, Fla. - A group consisting of parents, Eagle Scouts and Scoutmasters is launching a campaign aimed at influencing leaders of the organization to not change the policy that bans openly gay Boy Scouts.

Lawyers for the Boy Scouts are in the process of drafting a resolution that would change the policy when it comes to gay members. Currently, openly gay boys and men are not allowed to join the Boy Scouts.

Boy Scout officials proposed the policy change in January. The change would ease a decades-long ban on openly gay Boy Scouts and it would allow local chapters to decide for themselves on gay members.

WFTV spoke with an openly gay former Boy Scout, who called the long-standing ban discriminatory.  

"The Boy Scouts has such a great service to offer to youth all over our country, and it's a shame that they would discriminate against certain youth over others," said Michael Farmer of Equality Florida.

The group announced their campaign at a press conference in Orlando on Saturday. The group includes parents, Scoutmasters and older Eagle Scouts from more than a dozen states.

The purpose of the campaign is to influence leaders of the Boy Scouts to vote against the proposed policy change.

The group said allowing openly gay members would jeopardize the organization's "timeless values" and they will work to keep them out of the Boy Scouts.

The resolution detailing the policy change will be released on April 22. The Boy Scouts' National Council is expected to vote on the resolution at the end of May.