Richmond rally to oppose openly gay Boy Scout resolution - - Richmond, VA News

Richmond rally to oppose openly gay Boy Scout resolution

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Keep gays out of the Boy Scouts of America or we are getting out. That is the message from the man behind a nationwide rally. A stop is planned for here in Richmond on Friday.

The rally comes before a big vote next week that would change a more than 100 year policy of don't ask don't tell in the BSA.

"I think we as a community need to take a step back and say what does it mean when we are having rallies against an entire group of people?" said LGBT advocate Beth Panilaitis who was surprised to see Richmond is one of 40 rally locations across the country.

We spoke to the event organizer.

"The message is very simple," said organizer John Stemberger. "Keep sex and politics out of the Boy Scouts of America."

Stemberger strongly opposes a new resolution that says no youth may be denied membership on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

"We don't want this change," said Stemberger. "Many of us are going to be leaving sadly and taking our kids to other programs if this change is made."

The Richmond rally will be held at the BSA office on Fitzhugh Avenue.

"All that changes is if they decide to say something they can't be removed from the program," said scout executive Brad Nesheim.

"What do you make of this rally?" we asked Nesheim.

"I'm not really supportive of them," said Nesheim. "I heard a little bit about the one that may happen here Friday. The group that is organizing it is not involved with the Boy Scouts of America in any way."

The rally is this Friday at noon.

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