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Philly Boy Scouts Council Ousts Gay Scout

The Boy Scouts’ Philadelphia Cradle of Liberty Council last week removed Life Scout Greg Lattera after he admitted being gay at organization’s national conference in May. Ironically, his ouster comes less than one month after the local council added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy. Back then, David H. Lipson Jr., chair of the Cradle of Liberty Council board, supported the policy change saying, “We disagree with the national stance, and we’re not comfortable with the stated national policy,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. However, a recent statement from the council now reads, “Applications for leadership and membership do not inquire into sexual orientation. However, an individual who declares himself to be a homosexual would not be permitted to join Scouting,” reported the Associated Press. Cradle of Liberty Council CEO William T. Dwyer III blamed Lattera for his expulsion, “He decided to hold a press conference to come out… Our staff knew he was gay and never made a big deal about it. He decided to make a big deal about it…” reported Knight Ridder.

The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania said it would meet with the local council to discuss funding. “United Way is looking to fund programs that do not discriminate,” president Christie James-Brown told the AP. Lattera, with representation from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights, plans to file an appeal. “They are not living up to their own values,” Center executive director Stacey Sobel told Gay.com/PlanetOut.com. “It’s very clear they are being dishonest here. This was not the intention of the policy they signed.”

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Sources:

Associated Press 6/14/03; Gayapolis 6/14/03; Knight Ridder 6/13/03; Gay.com 6/12/03; Feminist Daily News Wire

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