WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-7th District) is expressing disappointment at a vote by the Boy Scouts of America to lift its ban on having openly gay scouts participate in the program.
"I'm very disappointed," he said. "I know my church has a long history of producing Eagle Scouts including my son and I know that many organizations that sponsor scouting are quite concerned about that and did not feel like it was an appropriate step. I know I'm concerned about it and did not think it was an appropriate step."
Cape Fear Boy Scout officials who attended the national meeting said they were against the change in policy.
"I would tell you that the leadership of our council in SE NC voted for no change in the policy because that had been the overwhelming opinion of scouting stake holders in SE NC that we serve, so our group voted for no change in the policy," said Doug Clevinger, Executive Director of the Cape Fear Boy Scout.
Local gay advocates, however, are applauding the Boy Scouts of America for voting to lift its ban.
"This isn't just a political correct issue, this is important," said Greg McCaw. "It's something all boys ought to be able to participate in because it's such a great organization. All boys should be able to participate and learn just like other boys."
McCaw was in the Boy Scouts, but that was before he was openly gay.
He said it was a positive experience and even today, at age 52, he draws on the skills he learned in the scouts.
"I'm a very, very big fan of scouting," he said. "I think it's an excellent program, but it needs to catch up and join the rest of society with what's right and I think they're starting that. This is just a beginning."
McCaw said it's just one step in the right direction because openly gay adults are still barred from serving as scout leaders.
We called other local Boy Scout troop leaders, but no one would comment on the vote.
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