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N.D. group looks for equality in Boy Scouts

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Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014 10:28 am

Western North Dakota has joined the fight for equality in the ranks of the Boy Scouts.

Travis Brazelton is the head of the North Dakota branch of Scouts for Equality, a nationwide group focused on ending LGBT discrimination in the Boy Scouts.

Scouts for Equality, lobbying for the inclusion of LGBT individuals in the Boy Scouts as scouts and as adult leaders and volunteers, received a major victory a year ago when gay children were allowed in.

Brazelton says that’s only part of the problem. After the child turns 18, they will no longer be allowed in the Boy Scouts, he said, because homosexual adults are still not allowed in any part in the Boy Scouts under the current rules.

“We need more adult leadership in the Boy Scouts,” Brazelton said. “Especially here in North Dakota. It’s difficult enough to get volunteers already. It’s outrageous to turn away someone who wants to volunteer.”

Brazelton called the current policy not fair to boys or to adults.

“In first grade, all girls are icky,” Brazelton said. “It doesn’t make [young boys] gay or straight. They don’t know yet. If they come out at age 16, all that time in Boy Scouts shouldn’t be wasted.”

Brazelton said he was never happy to see Boy Scouts suffer from Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policies. He voiced support for the decisions of some companies, such as Disney, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin and others, to cut off funding to Boy Scouts of America until the policies are revoked.

“I hope that in the future, Boy Scouts of America will become an inclusive organization,” Brazelton said. “Then they will start receiving funds again from the companies that have withdrawn.”

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