Georgia-Carolina Council: 85% of surveyed - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Georgia-Carolina Council: 85% of surveyed constituents oppose allowing gays to join Boy Scouts

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The Boy Scouts of America's National Council voted to allow gay youth into the Boy Scouts Thursday.  

However, the Georgia-Carolina Council doesn't support their decision, according to Jeff Schwab, the Scout Executive of the Georgia-Carolina Council.

Schwab says the Georgia-Carolina Council's three voting members voted the conscience of their constituents.

"All of our voting members voted to maintain the current membership standards," said Schwab.

Schwab says the subject of allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts is the most important and controversial issue the organization has faced.

He says with that in mind, they carefully prepared for the vote.

"We conducted three separate surveys where we listened and asked for input from over 2,700 volunteers," Schwab, said.

He says 85% of the constituents they surveyed in the CSRA opposed allowing gay boys to join the Scouts.

Sixty one percent of the Boy Scout's National Council members voted Thursday to accept openly gay boys into the Boy Scouts.

Schwab said, "The Boy Scouts went through the most extensive listening phase of anything we have ever undertaken in the history of scouting; it was truly a difficult and emotion decision."

It's a decision that he thinks will have a strong impact on the 4,000 scouts enrolled in the CSRA.

"We do know that there will be some individuals who will have to make decisions as to whether they would like to remain in the scouting program or not," he said.  

But Schwab believes new opportunities will come with the new membership standard.

"I believe this may provide an opportunity for more scouts, more families who had not been comfortable with the membership standards to engage in scouting," he said.

Schwab says regardless of their membership policies their leadership standards won't change.

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