On Tuesday, the national council of the Boy Scouts of America from membership and leadership positions within the organization. However, several Southwest Minneapolis Boy Scout troops and their regional parent organization responded, telling Patch that they will continue to stand by a policy of "inclusiveness."
"We don't inquire about someone's sexuality," said Kent York, the spokesperson for the Boy Scouts' Northern Star Council. "This council is nothing more than a reflection of the communities it serves, and it's a pretty diverse community here."
York said that the council felt its policy was "a straightforward and common-sense approach" that helped it walk a middle ground on a divisive issue within a "big tent" organization like the Boy Scouts.
"We’re a youth-serving organization. We don’t try to define sexual roles in society," York said, adding that the Northern Star Council trust the parents and families it serves to pick good leaders.
While it might seem that the local Council's policy puts it on a collision course with the national Scouting organization, local scouting families ought not be worried, several troop leaders in Minneapolis told Patch. The scouting movement works a bit like a franchise system.
"Essentially Minnehaha United Methodist Church is the owner of our program," Troop 1 leader Louis Hoffman said.
"The policy pertains to adult leaders (and) I can honestly say that I have no knowledge of the removal of, or have ever been 'pressured' to remove any volunteers for that reason," Tim Jopek, another local scouting leader, wrote in an email to Patch.
For some leaders, the issue of inclusion was deeply personal.
"My son's two godfathers are gay, and I think (the policy) is wrong on many levels, and is inconsistent on many levels with the rules and spirit of the Boy Scouts," Hoffman said. "If anyone above us wanted to say 'You must enforce this,' I'd say 'You can put in my hour or two of volunteer work per week and run this yourselves.'"
"My interest is in delivering the best possible scouting program for our 28 boys," he added. "If someone wants to be a part of that, it's not my business what their sexual orientation is."