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Utah Scout council urges BSA to delay vote on admitting gay Scouts and leaders

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31 2013 7:15 p.m. MST

The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America is asking BSA leaders for more time to consider the possible consequences of the national organization’s proposed move to eliminate restrictions on admitting gay Scouts and Scout leaders.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

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The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America is asking BSA national leadership for more time to consider the possible consequences of the organization’s proposed move to eliminate restrictions on admitting gay Scouts and Scout leaders.

“The Great Salt Lake Council is actively pursuing an effort to allow more time to consider the consequences of such decisions,” council officials said in a notice that was posted Thursday afternoon on the council website.

Asked what the term “actively pursuing” means, council public relations director Kay Godfrey said “we’re doing everything we can to try to stem the tide of having a vote taken on this next week.”

He declined to speak about specific steps that are being taken, indicating that he didn’t want to take a chance of saying something that might undermine their efforts.

“This whole thing caught us off guard,” Godfrey said. “We don’t have a position on the vote — we’re not making a judgment call one way or the other. We just want to be involved in a decision that could have tremendous impact on us. We want to be engaged, and we don’t feel that we’ve had a chance to be fully engaged at this point.”

Godfrey said the BSA’s National Executive Board is currently expected to vote on the change during a meeting in Texas next Wednesday.

“We would ask all of our Scouts, Scouters and parents to join us in prayer for our national leaders as they wrestle with this sensitive issue,” the council statement concludes. “Scouting is for youth first and foremost. We hope Scouting will keep its focus on providing quality programs and instilling values in young people.”

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