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Former Troop Member Responds To Boy Scouts’ Acceptance Of Openly Gay Youths

Last week, the Boy Scouts of America voted to end its ban on openly gay youths, while re-enforcing its prohibition on gay adult leaders. Some say the decision could lead to litigation and even defections from the organization.

Photo credit: Chance Kawar

Chance Kawar is a senior at Patrick Henry High School. He's an Eagle Scout from Troop 51 in La Mesa. He recently wrote an op-ed in UT San Diego urging the Boy Scouts to change its anti-gay policy.

KPBS Morning Edition's Deb Welsh spoke with high school senior Chance Kawar, an Eagle Scout and former member of La Mesa's Troop 51 about the vote. Oh, and by the way, he's also gay.

Kawar: I think that the committee made the choice to do something brave and I think it shows a positive step in the right direction.

Q: Do you see it as a compromise?

Kawar: You know, I do. I think they were looking for a way to kind of make the issue go away and they saw this as a way to include youth but not really settling the problem of whether its OK to be gay and be a Scout.

Q: Because the organization is faith-based, do you expect there might be some kind of a backlash?

Kawar: Perhaps, but I do know that many religions believe that God loves and is accepting of all his children regardless of whether they're gay or straight or anything else. So I hope that religious organizations can kind of see through the politics of this issue and just do the right thing. Because we know that people do better when they're in Scouts and it's such an incredible organizations, has a lot to offer to young boys.

Q: Are you still affiliated with the Scouts, Chance?

Kawar: I was told I was not able to attend meetings by my Scoutmaster this past February after I published an article in the Union Tribune which I revealed my sexual orientation.

Q: And that's the way it stands now?

Kawar: Unfortunately, I think he felt the need to carry out national policy, which because I'm an adult, still stands after the vote.

The Boy Scout's policy change was endorsed by more than 60 percent of the organization's 1,400 voting members.

It goes into effect January 1.

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