HARRISON, N.Y. -- Local Harrison residents were split Wednesday on whether or not the Boy Scouts of America should lift its longstanding ban on gay scouts and leaders after the group's executive board decided to postpone its vote on the matter.
The Boy Scouts of America released a statement saying that it will take action on the resolution at its national meeting in May to allow its thousands of members to offer input on what has become a controversial matter.
Regarding the matter, some Harrison residents said they think the scouts should not be pressured into changing policy, while others said the bias against gay members and leaders is unfair.
“It’s hard to say because I’m not connected with that anymore,” said Fred Devin, who added that he was a Boy Scout for a couple of years. “It’s a hard question. I guess I’d give it a try," he said of allowing gay scouts.
However, he said he wasn't as sure about allowing gay scout leaders, saying “that’s another story.” Other Harrison residents, who declined to give their names, supported rescinding the ban. Westchester-Putnam Council Scout Executive Marc Andreo could not say what lifting the ban would mean for the local troops until the council is notified of the discussion's outcome. "We're aware of the ongoing discussion among the national leadership of the Boy Scouts of America regarding the national membership policy and are encouraged by the ongoing dialogue," Andreo wrote in an email. "Our goal has always been to provide the best youth leadership and development program with the best volunteer leadership to as many young people as possible."