The Boy Scouts of America Sam Houston Area Council released a statement saying it's board of directors voted to support the current Boy Scouts of America policy which does not inquire about sexual orientation and does not allow openly gay members. Some in the gay community say this is a disheartening setback on the same day they are celebrating such a victory with the coming out of NBA player Jason Collins. "How great is it that this giant seven foot tall NBA Center has come out and said 'I play for the NBA. I'm black and I'm gay'," says Sally Huffer with The Montrose Center. News of Collins coming out quickly spread through Houston's gay community. "We're thrilled because every time someone breaks that barrier and comes out it reduces isolation," Huffer explains.
Houston's GLBT Caucus (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Trans gender) is less than thrilled with the Sam Houston Area Council after the board chose to keep the current scouts policy which doesn't grant membership to those who are openly gay. The board voted against a proposal by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America that would allow openly gay scouts after consulting with area parents and scout leaders. According to the Sam Houston Area Council 75% of the responding parents and scout leaders want to keep the boy scouts policy the same. "It's not that we're against them or anything but as a Christian we believe strongly in a man and a woman," says one parent going into the boys scouts building.
Another woman added, "We want all kids. It doesn't matter if they're gay or not they're still kids".
"This is a private organization. We're in America. They can start an organization for them if they want to. Why change something that's always been? Why force somebody to do something?" asked a man coming out of the scouts building.
The Sam Houston Area Council has twelve representatives voting when the 1,400 reps from boy scout councils from across the country come together May 23, 2013 and vote on whether to accept openly gay scouts or keep the policy the same. The council says it will accept and support whatever that national vote happens to be. Here's the complete Sam Houston Area Council statement.