Savannah gay support group heralds Boy Scout ban being lifted - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah gay support group heralds Boy Scout ban being lifted

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Alex Cheves Alex Cheves
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

For a century, the Boy Scouts of America welcomed boys and young men as long as they were straight. Now, a shift, they're going to allow openly homosexual scouts.

It is historic. For this first time in 100 years, the institution has changed it's policy to include a group of people they excluded for so long.

"We have a lot of conservative people that are really upset about the vote for various reasons and we are going to do what we can to pull it together and fix it and move on," Tom Kardiff, Executive Scout, Coastal Empire Council Boy Scouts of America, told WTOC.

The ban's defeat allows children and teens who are openly gay to stay in the Boy Scouts without fear of being kicked out, but once they turn 18 years old they do have to leave.

WTOC spoke with Alex Cheves with Savannah College of Art and Design's Queers and Allies youth support group. He says he would like to see the Boy Scouts lift the ban on scout leaders, but the ban on children and teens is a good start and a continuing sign of the of movement of acceptance in America. He calls it the fastest social turnaround since the civil rights era.

"I never was a boy scout but I spoke to members who were who said they left because they were closeted and they had problems because of it. They didn't have a place. I think my generation, we will see a place where it is standard and accepted to see in society. It is a privilege to watch this change happen as I am in college, it's crazy," Cheves told WTOC.

The gay ban ends Jan. 1, 2014.  

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