Yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America voted to admit openly gay boys for the first time. But Pascal Tessier, 16, has mixed feelings about the historic decision. At 16, he is one step away from earning his Eagle Scout -- the highest honor for a Boy Scout. He is also openly gay.
"I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout," Tessier said. "Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing."
Tessier is concerned that he will be kicked out of the organization when he turns 18.
That's because, despite ongoing pressure from gay rights advocates and corporate sponsors, the Boy Scouts of America remains resistant to allowing openly gay scout leaders.
"That one couple hours (between 17 and 18) will make me not a good person," Tessier said.
Tessier is not the only openly gay Boy Scout who finds himself between a rock and a hard place. In California, Scout officials refused to grant the Eagle Scout rank to Ryan Andresen, 18, who came out as gay last year.
Of the 200,000 leaders, parents and youth members who responded to a survey sent out by the Boy Scouts of America, 60% voted to end the exclusion of openly gay boys in the Boy Scouts.
The archaic ban on openly gay boys within the Boy Scouts was illogical in its reasoning. Boys don't turn out boys, gay men do.
Although the vast majority of gays are not child molesters, the majority of child molesters within America's tiny 4% population of gays are men.
The Scouts can't take the chance of even one boy being molested while on a camping trip in the mountains with a gay scout leader. For that reason the ban on openly gay Scout leaders should never be lifted.
Photo: TONY GUTIERREZ/AP
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