Angie Crouch, Troy McLaurin
Demonstrators lined up outside the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Echo Park Friday, asking to leave the ban on gay members in place. Delegates from around the country will vote on whether to lift the ban next Thursday. Angie Crouch reports from Echo Park for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on May 17, 2013.
Dozens of demonstrators rallied in Echo Park Friday afternoon to lobby the Boy Scouts of America to vote against changing its policy to allow openly gay boys and young men to serve as scouts.
Citing concerns that a reversal of the man would "harm boys" and upset the traditional values of scouting, about 25 women, men and teens protested outside the Boy Scouts of America, Los Angeles Area Council from noon until about 1:30 p.m.
The Boy Scouts of America’s governing body is set to vote on May 23 on whether to change its existing policy that bars scouts from being openly gay. That vote could change a long-held policy that applies to nearly 2.7 million youth members in one of the country's largest youth organizations.
But a reversal of the policy would not apply to the nearly 1 million adult volunteers, who would still be prohibited from being openly gay in the organization.
Friday’s Echo Park protest was one of many scheduled throughout the country meant to send a message to the organization’s leaders that those members support the current policy which mirrors the military now-defunct “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule.
In February, Maxwell Ulin, of Santa Monica, handed in his Eagle Scout Badge in protest of the organization’s ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders.
While Ulin himself is not gay, he chose to give up the highest honor bestowed on a Boy Scout in solidarity with his fellow scouts who are gay.