published Monday, April 1st, 2013

Scouts reject troop sponsored by gay rights group

SALT LAKE CITY — The Boy Scouts of America have rejected an application for a scouting troop sponsored by a Utah gay rights organization.

The Utah Pride Center recently asked permission to start a troop for 10 middle-school aged children with straight troop leaders, said executive director Valerie Larabee. Many of the boys’ parents had previously left Scouts or opted not to join because of their opposition to the Boy Scouts’ long-standing policy excluding gays and lesbians.

After spending four months preparing a proposal to adhere to Scouts’ standards, Utah Pride Center officials said a local representative from the Boy Scouts’ Great Salt Lake Council returned the entire application intact four days later— including the business cards they had given him.

They were told that the mission of their organization didn’t properly align with the goals of Boy Scouts, said Charles Frost, Utah Pride Center director of community engagement. The Salt Lake City-based group is an advocacy and service group for gays and lesbians.

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