The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

February 7, 2013

Area Scout officials back delay on gay vote


ROCKY MOUNT — Today, the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America decided to delay the vote on allowing charter partners to be able to decide on allowing gay adults or youth into their Scout units owned by chartered partners.

Ray Franks, Scout Executive and Chief Operating Officer for East Carolina Council, BSA said he thought the decision to refer the vote to the full National Council membership at its Annual Meeting in May was the right thing to do. He stated that East Carolina Council, which serves over 9,000 youth annually through 3,500 volunteers, had no volunteers present at the National Council, BSA Executive Board Meeting where the discussion was taking place.

"At the May National Council Meeting we have four council volunteers with voting rights out of the possible 1,400 volunteers that are voting members of the National Council. A decision of this magnitude is best decided by the voting members from all 280 councils in the United States."

Franks said he thought long-term that the policy to allow gays into Scouting would be changed unless more individuals who support the present policy and Scouting Alumni stepped up to support their local council. The number of local Scout councils have decreased from about 325 to 280 in the past five years as a result of mergers of councils which no longer had enough final support to sustain their operations.

East Carolina Council, BSA with offices in Kinston, has three less professional staff than the same time last year. The council has lost $30,000 - $50,000 in the past year in giving that can be directly related to BSA's policies on the homosexual issue and has been turned down by many more trust funds and companies.

Franks stated, "Those wanting to keep the policy the same will have to step up and financially support local councils throughout the country." For more information on Scouting in East Carolina Council, BSA call (252) 522-1521.