Boy Scouts changing their ways? - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Boy Scouts changing their ways?

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(WOIO) -

The Boy Scouts of America is talking about dropping its ban on gay members. Lifting the ban would allow local organizations to decide their own policies.

"An avowed homosexual is not allowed to be a leader in the program," said Boy Scouts of Cleveland's Barry Norris during an interview with 19 Action News last September. 

Scouts and their leaders can't be gay if they want to be a part of the organization. That policy cost the local organization in Cleveland more than 100-thousand bucks in funding from United Way.

"When somebody joins scouting we do not openly inquire about their sexual orientation," says Norris.

The BSA is looking to change course on this 10-year old policy. If that happens it would be up to local troops to decide if they wanted to let openly gay members join.

"We're very encouraged by this information," explains Jenna Snyder of the United Way of Greater Cleveland.

The Cleveland United Way changed their policy last year to include non-discrimination of a persons sexual orientation.

"We look forward to it getting to the local councils, and we look forward to renewing our relationship with our local council," says Snyder.

 There are a lot of mixed opinions on the issue. 

"As for as kids getting mentored by those type of people. I don't approve of that. But at the same time you can't discriminate against those that choose to be that type of way," says Kaze Harris.

"I think an organization like that should show good role models and allow people to be who they are," Explains Sarah Jones.

This change in policy could come as early as next week when the national board meets in Texas. If there are no changes the Cleveland area Boy Scouts funding from the local United Way will run out in June.

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