Lifting of gay scouts ban in US gets mixed reactions in Bacolod

BACOLOD CITY, May 27 (PNA) — The recent decision of the Boy Scouts of America to lift a century-old ban on gay scouts got mixed reactions from local scout leaders in the metro.

Eagle Scout Jemar Xavier M. Del Castillo of Bacolod Boy Scout Council said it is a welcome development that US is now accepting gays in the scout movement.

“Gays are born boys. They maybe feminine, but their physique is that of boys,” Del Castillo said.

He then added that “boy scouts follow strict standards and everyone is expected to follow even gays.”

“Boy scouts do not discriminate, so gays can participate as long as no special treatment will be given to them,” he said.

Del Castillo pointed out that the decision is “beneficial for gays because in boy scouting, discipline, preparedness, and patriotism should be practiced by heart.”

For his part, Van Der Vee Arcenas, leader- trainer and moderator of Trailblazer Scouts of the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos said gays are welcome to join the scout movement in the Philippines if they wanted to.

“Here in the Philippines, there is no ban for gay scouts. Many are contemplating to do so but (failed),” he said.

Engr. Jerry Penafiel Jr., president of the UNO- R Trailblazer Scouts Alumni Association said, “gays have a right to join the scouting movement.”

However, when reached for reactions, Elmer Cabiles of the Bago City Scouting Committee, said that “gays…not in my outfit.”

Dan Vallejera, deputy training commissioner of the Western Visayas Region- Boy Scout of the Philippines is not amiable of having gays in their team.

Vallejera said he was worried that having gays in the team would “destroy the moral fiber within as laid down by our founder Lord Baden Powell.”

Medsil Carillo, council commissioner for leader training of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines- Aklan council also expressed dismay.

“I disagree with the lifting of the ban. That is one factor why membership decreases,” Carillo said.

More than 60 percent of the group’s National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, composed of some 1,400 delegates, voted to end the ban effective January 1, 2014.

The decision followed weeks of lobbying by gay rights activists and members of conservative organizations.

Many of them were church groups that have traditionally formed the backbone of one of the nation’s largest youth organizations. (PNA)



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