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Vermont Scouts say LGBTs are welcome

At least one state chapter of the Boy Scouts of America is not prepared to toe the line with the organization’s national ban on LGBTs joining the scouts

The Vermont Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its non-discriminatory stance allowing LGBTs to be scouts and scout masters in the face of the national organization’s continued refusal to allow LGBTs into the organization.

The Vermont chapter’s Green Mountain Council established its own non-discriminatory policy in 2001 after the Boy Scouts of America won a Supreme Court case affirming their right to exclude LGBTs the year before.

The Green Mountain Council’s policy reads, ‘The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America, does not inquire into the sexual orientation of existing or prospective members, youth or adult.’

Green Mountain Council scout executive Edward McCollin said that the Supreme Court verdict had prompted them to act.

‘When that happened, the Green Mountain Council as an executive board created their own non-discrimination policy that was in line with what the people of Vermont were comfortable with, without going against the national Boy Scouts of America policy,’ McCollin told the Barre Montpelier Times Argus.

2000 had also seen Vermont become the first state to introduce civil unions for same-sex couples.

The Boy Scouts of America announced it would continue its ban on LGBTs joining in July after setting up an exploratory committee to evaluate its policy in 2010.

However the ban has caused the Boy Scouts controversy in 2012 with a number of expulsions making the news, and even the US President, Barack Obama entering the debate to criticize the Scout’s policy.

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