Most Boy Scout troops in the United States are chartered by religious organizations, many of which have stances on homosexuality.
St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Bloomington charters Boy Scout Troop 100. St. Mark’s pastor Ned Steele says he personally believes in a more inclusive policy.
“I think there’s such an overwhelming tide of history rushing towards that organization that for them to not do the right thing and open their organization to gays is just going to be monumentally sad,” Steele says.
Pastor Dave Blystone of Asbury United Methodist Church in Columbus, whose church charters Boy Scout Troop 559, says there are entrenched feelings on both sides of the issue, which complicate it.
“I appreciate being open to people regardless of the situation and circumstances in their lives,” he says. “I also recognize some of the challenges that are related to that. It’s not an easy situation.”
A Quinnipiac University poll finds 55 percent of voters nationwide support the participation of openly gay members in scouting.