A survey of members of the regional Boy Scout council in the East Bay has found 81 percent of respondents want Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual (LGBT) individuals to be included in Scouting.
One respondent said: "I believe that your sexual orientation should not matter and should not even be a topic of debate as it is completely personal. Sex has no business in boy scouts." — this is cited on the website of the Mount Diablo Silverado Boy Scout Council, which is based in Pleasant Hill.
The regional council "has gone above and beyond this past month or so, producing its own survey and listening to the people of this community who have made it clear that they want the scouting organization to do what's right," wrote Eric Andresen of Moraga, the father of Ryan Andresen, who was denied an Eagle Scout badge last fall after he had come out to fellow Scouts, in an email to Patch.
John Fenoglio, executive of the Mount Diablo Silverado Boy Scout Council, told the Contra Costa Times that the regional council would advocate for a change in policy at the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America in May.
The regional council's survey was emailed to more than 5,000 email addresses with a response percentage of 41 percent. The website notes that 74 percent of respondents said they would be likely to recommend Scouting to a friend, if the LGBT policy is changed.
"We also want the community to understand that the Council’s earlier decisions to deny Ryan his well-earned Eagle rank were directed by National, with specific demands placed upon this Council’s staff that were, I’m sure, very difficult for them to follow," wrote Eric Andresen. "But BSA National has a very big stick — the threat of revoking a Charter is a significant concern, and one that had to be taken quite seriously. What is so extremely disappointing and disheartening is that the individuals at the National offices cared so little about our incredible son, or about the terrible impact their discriminatory policy has upon thousands and thousands of youth and leaders.
"It is time for the Boy Scouts of America to step into the 21st century, and to listen to the majority of the voices around the country who are all calling upon scouts to stop discrimination."