Rochester, N.Y. - Scout Executive for Boy Scouts of America, Seneca Waterways Council, Stephen Hoitt says for years the organization's policy has mimicked the military's don't ask don't tell policy.
“We don't ask people about their sexual orientation, people are free to enroll in the program, participate,” Hoitt said.
It's when someone promotes a social agenda that's frowned upon.
“If they want to promote political causes, sexual causes, whatever the cause may be, our rules as an organization, we don't teach sexuality to kids so we're going to ask that person to leave,” Hoitt said.
The organization says parents or caregivers should be the ones who discuss same-sex relationships.
“The Boy Scouts have always been a Christian organization and they've basically set up certain guidelines they go by and biblically this is where they stand," parent of Boy Scouts Edie Pastuch said. “If anyone really would prefer to have this opened up, then maybe another group would be better for them.”
Program Director for Rochester's Gay Alliance, Scott Fearing says it's time for a change.
“To me the Boy Scouts, having been a Cub Scout… it's about being honest, it's about being truthful,” Fearing said. “What you're basically asking any gay kid or gay leader is to lie and not be honest about themselves and that's damaging.”
Fearing says the policy could turn people away, he says would be a good fit for the organization.
“To keep them away from a leadership role or even as a scout is doing a disservice to the whole organization,” Fearing said.