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Boy Scouts proposal to allow gay youths draws fire from both sides

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The Scouts are taking a "step in the right direction," said Rick Jacobs, founder of the Courage Campaign, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"We are seeing a rapid and historic shift toward equality for all," Mr. Jacobs said in a statement. "The Boy Scouts are now beginning to catch up with this reality."

For John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and founder of OnMyHonor.net, a coalition of parents and Scouts who support the ban on gays, the proposal raises many concerns.

“This cleverly-worded resolution tries to dodge criticism from gay activists but still creates a myriad of problems for how to manage and ensure the safety and security of the boys in the program,” Mr. Stemberger said in a statement. “The current membership policy of Scouting, which is backed by more than 100 years of tradition, allows anyone to participate irrespective of sexual orientation, but only disallows the open and aggressive promotion of homosexuality and political agendas."

Leaders of the Mormon Church, which does not support same-sex relationships, will review the new proposal and its implications before taking a position on it, said Michael Purdy, spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Friday. There are more Mormon Boy Scouts nationally than any other religious denomination, the Associated Press reported, and 99 percent of the troops in the Great Salt Lake Council are sponsored by the Mormon Church.

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