Scouts May Lift Gay Ban; Some In Greenburgh Say It's Time

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Boy Scouts of America may soon lift its national policy that bans gay members from entering the organization. Greenburgh parent Belinda Rivera Isaac said she hopes to see the policy change pass. Photo Credit: Flickr user Fort Meade

GREENBURGH, N.Y. — The Boy Scouts of America's policy that bans gay members could be in line for elimination, and some Greenburgh and New York residents are saying, "It's about time."


Do you think Boy Scouts of America should lift its policy that refuses gay members?

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Do you think Boy Scouts of America should lift its policy that refuses gay members?

  • Yes, I support the policy change as it is

  • Yes, and they should not allow local chapter to continue refusing gay members

  • No, Boy Scouts of America has a right to maintain the policy

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Scout officials made the announcement Monday that although there was no final decision yet, consideration to drop the national policy is anticipated at the Feb. 6 executive board meeting, according to an article in The New York Times.

Belinda Rivera Isaac, whose 10-year-old son is a Cub Scout in Hartsdale's Pack 67, said lifting the ban would encourage her son and his fellow Cub Scouts to be more accepting.

It would also open up the chance for more boys and young men to be counted among the national institution's 2.7 million members, she added.

"With every aspect of life, you're going to have to encounter people who are different religions, different sexualities. I think it's good for children to be exposed to that," said Isaac, of Greenburgh. "They should all be given the opportunity to join if they want to."

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."

Yzette Swavy-Lipton, committee chairperson of Edgemont and Hartsdale's Troop 4, declined to comment.

If the ban was lifted, the policy change would allow local chapters to decide whether to refuse gay members. Alfonso Quiroz, of Jackson Heights, said that isn't enough.

"End to the ban should be group-wide," Quiroz wrote on The Greenburgh Daily Voice's Facebook page. "It's 2013 folks, let's get with it."

Susan Landes, a former Briarcliff Manor resident, said she was just happy to see Boy Scouts of America take a step in the right direction.

"It's about time," she wrote on The Greenburgh Daily Voice's Facebook page.

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Somebody has been reading The Scarsdale Inquirer.

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