Local Boy Scouts council considers decision on gay scouts, leaders

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COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A controversial decision to be made this week from the Boy Scouts of America has local councils wondering which way their organization will go.

Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America is expected to rule whether openly gay members and leaders can join the club. Gays are excluded right now.

While some critics say sexuality needs to stay out of the Boy Scouts, one local den leader, a father to two scouts and a former scout himself, doesn't see the harm.

Gil Kersh told channel 2's Liz Artz that, “scouts have a lot to offer to gay youth, and also gay people have a lot to offer to the scouting program."

He said his sons get a lot out of the organization.

“It's always good for them to include people and develop a sense that everybody has something to offer,” Kersh said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been very open about his belief that the scouts should embrace "traditional conservative values,” including "excluding openly gay members and leaders from the scouts"

Kersh's sons’ troops are affiliated through their Methodist church, and like so many other troops, they hold meetings at their church.

Kersh said it’s not a discussion the church and the Boy Scouts have had yet, but suspects Wednesday's decision will open the doors for that discussion.

If the national organization rules it's OK for openly gay people to join, it will likely be up to the local chapters to decide how they want to handle it.



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