The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts set to vote on gay issue

GRAPEVINE, Texas — Thursday’s vote on whether to lift the ban on gay youths in the Boy Scouts of America could symbolize a cultural shift.

Texas businessman Barry Price was so disturbed by the prospect that he joined a protest Wednesday, picking up a sign to urge Scout leaders to retain the ban.

“The things that shaped this country — the morals, the foundation of who we are — are being shaken and broken apart,” said Price, 68, of Grapevine, an Army veteran and former Boy Scout who said the vote troubled him as much as the U.S. military lifting its ban on gays serving openly two years ago.

Although the proposal would end the ban on gay youths, gay Scout leaders would still be barred. Scouting’s 1,400-member national council will vote by secret ballot, with a simple majority required for passage. Officials are expected to announce the results at a briefing here late Thursday. If it passes, the new policy would take effect Jan. 1, a Scouts spokesman said.

In that case, Price said, “the Boy Scouts will be devastated. It will decimate their finances and membership.”

Supporters agree that passage would signal a shift in philosophy — but they say it’s long overdue.

“This work really symbolizes where we are as a country,” said Rich Ferraro, a spokesman for the New York-based gay advocacy group GLAAD, noting that as gays have gained greater acceptance nationwide, banning them from Scouting “is not just anti-gay, it’s anti-American.”

Boy Scout leaders acknowledged this week that the vote is about more than just their group.

“Somehow, Scouting has become one of the focal points in the debate on homosexuality,” Boy Scouts President Wayne Perry wrote in an opinion piece this week in USA Today. He supports the new policy as “the right decision for Boy Scouts” that “would provide kids a place to belong while they learn and grow.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress reaches agreement on VA reform With days left before the August break, congressional leaders unveiled a $17 billion bipartisan compromise Monday to fix the tattered Department of Veterans Affairs.

    July 28, 2014

  • Residency case targets state GOP legislator A residency dispute involving a Minnesota legislator has landed in court and could put a Republican-held seat in contention at a time when the party is fighting to wrest chamber control from Democrats.

    July 28, 2014

  • 8,000 get false notice of health care cancellation ST. PAUL — More than 8,000 low-income Minnesotans received erroneous notices that their health coverage would be temporarily canceled if they don't pay up. A July 17 notice warned MinnesotaCare subscribers that they faced a four-month coverage locko

    July 28, 2014

  • ND deputy hurt in scuffle Suspect charged with assaulting, trying to disarm law officer

    July 28, 2014

  • Fergus Falls plans deer hunt Hunters are selected by a lottery, pay $20 fee

    July 28, 2014

  • Man killed in home invasion Homeowner's son in Ray, Minn., fires fatal shot

    July 28, 2014

  • Charges filed in July 8 fatal Dodge Center woman criminally charged in fatal car crash

    July 28, 2014

  • American doctor in Africa gets treatment for Ebola BOONE, N.C. (AP) — An American doctor infected with the deadly Ebola disease received intensive treatment Sunday in West Africa and was in stable condition, talking to his medical team and working on his computer, a spokeswoman for an aid group said.

    July 27, 2014

  • Salmonella Outbreak Trial [Duplicate] Trial in salmonella outbreak to start in Georgia ATLANTA (AP) — Three people accused of scheming to manufacture and ship salmonella-tainted peanuts that killed nine people, sickened more than 700 and prompted one of the largest food recalls in history are set to go to trial this week in south Georg

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitfalls emerge in health insurance renewals WASHINGTON — For the 8 million people who persevered through all the technical travails in the new health insurance exchanges and managed to sign up for coverage in 2014, their policies will probably automatically renew come November when open enroll

    July 27, 2014