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Jamboree director: 'Never asked about sexuality'

GLEN JEAN, W.Va. -- Gay Boy Scouts are welcome at the National Scout Jamboree, despite the fact that the ban on gay Boy Scouts does not officially expire until 2014, the Jamboree director said Thursday.

In May, the Boy Scout national council voted to overturn a longstanding ban on gay Scouts, but to maintain a ban on adult Scout leaders.

But the decision to allow gay Scouts does not go into effect until Jan. 1, leaving some question as to whether gay Scouts were welcome at the Jamboree in Glen Jean.

After repeated questioning, Larry Pritchard, the Jamboree director, confirmed that gay Scouts were welcome.

"If we have gay Scouts here, they're probably having a good time," Pritchard said Thursday.

Asked explicitly if gay Scouts were welcome at the Jamboree, Pritchard equivocated.

"We have never asked anyone about their sexuality, so that's not an issue for us here at the Jamboree," Pritchard said.

Asked whether a hypothetical openly gay Scout would be welcome at the Jamboree, Pritchard said that any Scout who is having a good time is welcome.

Reach David Gutman at david.gutman@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.

 


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