Scout leaders resign looking elsewhere after vote to lift ban on gays

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by STEVE STOLER / WFAA

WFAA

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

MCKINNEY, Texas - The Boy Scouts of America decision to lift a ban on openly gay members has had immediate fallout.

In McKinney, a Collin County commissioner who served as a district scout leader resigned from his volunteer post. Others said they'll leave the 103-year-old organization to start their own boys program.

Citing grief and dismay over the decision to allow gay scouts, Commissioner Chris Hill, an Eagle Scout and volunteer leader of a district board, resigned Friday.

"To come into this organization and say, 'We demand that you change your values and accept ours,' that became the problem," he said. "That became the problem for a lot of families."

Hill’s resignation was not a surprise to Scouting Executive Pat Currie.

"We have a program that works through volunteers," Currie said. "We hate it when we lose any volunteer. It's a complicated issue and not everyone agrees."

Thomas Dillingham said he's leaving the Boy Scouts. He's among a group of people organizing a nationwide alternative to BSA called "Faith Based Boys."

"The problem is people like me who have fought this so hard have no place to go," he said. "We can't stay in the organization."

The Faith Based Boys website describes the program as Christian-centered and skill-based serving boys five to 18 and focusing on service with integrity.

"There have been at least 100 people that emailed me today and said 'We're stepping down,'" Dillingham said. "So, I'm not surprised at all. We warned BSA about this, and they didn't listen."

Hill and Dillingham predict thousands more will leave the Boy Scouts.

"Everyone should stop, take a step back, look young people in the eyes and remember why they got involved in scouting in the first place," Currie said.

Email sstoler@wfaa.com

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