Printed on: May 25, 2013

Eagle Scout wants more from BSA for gays


Eagle Scout Dave McGrath wants to know what happens when a scout turns 18.

The decision to allow gay scouts -- but not gay leaders -- made Thursday by the Boy Scouts of America National Council is not enough, he said.

"This solved it for no one," Dave said. "Youths turn into adults."

On May 3, Dave and his son, Joseph, left Idaho Falls on a 1,800 mile bike ride bound for the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Texas to protest the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy following the organization's January announcement that it would consider removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation and leave policies to its local organizations.

Two of Dave's six sons and his identical twin brother, Geoff, are gay.

The decision came Thursday. Dave said it's a quarter turn where the National Council needed to make a half turn.

"I'll be back to see if we can get that extra quarter," he said.

About 61 percent of the 1,400 voting members of the National Council supported the proposal. The policy change will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.

Geoff would like to see the Boy Scouts allow gay leaders, but he's excited for this important step.

"I'm thrilled (the Boy Scouts have) been able to make this small change," Geoff said.

There is still work to do, Geoff said, but this decision will benefit kids.

"My cousin's 12-year-old son will be able to remain in Scouting (now)," he said.

Reporter Alex Stuckey can be reached at 542-6755.