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The Berkshires

Boy Scouts consider lifting ban against gays

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Albany/HV: Boy Scouts consider lifting ban against gays
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The LGBTQ community and local Boy Scouts, past and present, are reacting to the news that the Boy Scouts of America is discussing changing its stance on gay members. Erin Vannella reports.

TROY, N.Y. -- "The climate was tough, I was called names," said former Boy Scout Adam Sanzone. "People heard about me being gay cause I was open in high school but not in Boy Scouts."

He was 18 when he quit scouts. Sanzone never made it to Eagle Scout but he didn't want to pretend anymore to be someone he wasn't.

"I became an adult leader, tried to see if they'd give me respect as an adult leader, but it never happened," said Sanzone.

Now the century old national organization is considering lifting its recently renewed ban against gays to allow local troops to choose whether to allow gay leaders and members. It's a move local LGBT community leaders say comes better late than never.

"It really is surprising it's taken this long," said Curran Streett Capital Region Pride Center Executive Director. Social change has really been happening over the past number of years so they're really coming into the times by making this stance."

Sanzone credits social pressures and President Obama's inaugural intentions for the consideration. The organization, not just individuals will benefit, he said. They taught good lessons. Accepting each other's differences should be one of them.

"It helped me learn how to tie a knot," said Sanzone."Heck it made me learn how to use a bow and arrow. I made some really good friends in Boy Scouts so here's hoping for sure. I really do hope for this."

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