MARIETTA, Ga. - On Wednesday, the Boy Scouts of America executive board delayed a vote on changes to a ban on gay scouts and leaders.
The issue is stirring up a lot of controversy among local Atlanta metro area troops and church leaders.
"In all honesty, if the
Scouts were to change their policy and become more gay-friendly with the idea of using scoutmasters, the church couldn't support it," said Randy Mickler, senior minister at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta.
Mickler's church hosts the largest number of Eagle Scouts in the state of Georgia. In fact, the church has a special house on their property for the Boy Scouts.
Mickler said he would be forced to kick them out if the National Boy Scouts of America moves forward with a policy that allows for gay scouts and leaders.
"I've had two counts where the scoutmaster molested a Boy Scout and the trauma that kid goes through is deplorable. I'm not saying that all homosexuals would dothat, but at the same time, they were homosexuals," Mickler said.
"There are more straight pedophiles than there are gay pedophiles. They need to stop using a scapegoat so they can hide behind us," Kenneth Hosley told Channel 2's Rachel Stockman.
Hosley, who was kicked out of the Atlanta area Boy Scouts after he announced he was gay, believes that the ban on gays should be reversed.
"To be wrenched away from something that I thought would be part of my life forever, it is difficult to describe," Hosley said.
The Atlanta Area Council released this statement: "While the National Board continues its discussions, I promise that the Atlanta Area Council will continue to provide the best Scouting program to as many youth in Atlanta as possible. This is an important and complex national issue, but we cannot allow a policy debate to negatively impact the quality of the program we deliver to our Scouts. They are counting on us."