Milwaukee LGBT community reacts to potential Boy Scouts policy change

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- For more than a century, the Boy Scouts of America has prohibited gay men and boys from joining their ranks, but those restrictions could soon change. Those within the LGBT community feel such a change may not go far enough.

Currently, roughly 2.5 million boys are involved with the Boy Scouts of America. If any of them were to announce they are gay, they would instantly be rejected from the organization. 

Now, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.

Denise Cawley is on the board of directors for Milwaukee's LGBT Community Center. She says the policy change doesn't go far enough.

"It's sad to hear that they still want to, you know, allow some people to discriminate.  Especially when kids are involved. That's really frightening to us," Cawley said.

While the change in national policy would allow troops to accept members of the LGBT community, it would also give them the choice to continue the restriction. 

"The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs," a BSA spokesperson said.

For Cawley, it's this lack of national acceptance that will keep her six-year-old son from ever being a Scout.

"A Boy Scout kind of experience would be a natural next step for him, but knowing full well that his parents would not be welcomed there is not something that we're ever going to sign him up for," Cawley said.

The policy has not yet been changed. However, the BSA says it is discussing the removal of the sexual orientation restriction.

The national board's next meeting is February 4th.

Related stories: