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Scout Leaders Quit Over Gay Policy

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff


February 17, 2003
12:02 a.m. ET/+5GMT/-3PT
(Oneonta, New York) Two Upstate New York Scout leaders have quit the organization over its anti-gay policies and the future of their troops is uncertain.

Chris Wood, former scoutmaster of Oneonta Troop 23, and James Greenberg, who served as leader of Oneonta's Cub Scout Pack 91, relinquished their positions saying they could no longer be members of an organization that discriminates against gays and atheists.

"The Scouts are sending the wrong message about tolerance of people with different beliefs," said Wood, who has two sons who have been part of the Scouting program. "You need to judge every individual as an individual and not because of any other associations they may have."

Though he said he has long frowned on the Boy Scouts' position on gays, Wood kept his views to himself until he learned about an Eagle Scout in Washington who was kicked out of the organization last year for being an atheist.

Wood, an Episcopalian, says he has a deep faith in God but doesn't see how one's faith should be a prerequisite for good moral character.

Greenberg describes himself as an atheist.

Both scout troops are leaderless, and some parents say they have been unable to find anyone to take on the responsibility.

"I would like to see Scouting not be so segregated these days," said Wood. "It needs to come into the 21st century."

©365Gay.com Ltd® 2003



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