The national debate on whether Boy Scouts of America should open membership to gays landed in Orange this week.
The discussion came in response to an item on the Board of Selectmen agenda, which was a request from Connecticut Yankee Council Inc., Boy Scouts of America to hold a preparation weekend at the Orange Community Center Grounds on June 15 and 16 for the youth and adults going to the 2013 National Jamboree.
Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, a former Cub Scout, was the lone vote against the request, because he wanted to take a public stance against Scout national leadership's existing policy, according to a report by NBC Connecticut.
In that report, Goldblatt was quoted by NBC Connecticut as stating:
"Our children are taught diversity in the school, yet when they walk out of the school and they go to the Scouts, they're taught anything but diversity with this kind of policy."
Ultimately, the board voted to approve the request.
Goldblatt's stance comes as council's across the country gather input from Scout families ahead of a national leadership meeting in May.
In an effort to gather such input, the Connecticut Yankee Council is hosting 'town hall' style meeting on Wednesday, March 20, at 7 p.m. The meeting will take place at the Discovery Museum and Planetarium, located at 4450 Park Ave., Bridgeport.
In a letter announcing the meeting, Michael Abrahamson, Connecticut Yankee Council President, and Charles L. Flowers, Scout Executive, write:
"Although the general public is welcome to attend this meeting, it is intended as a vehicle to give our Scouting family a voice on this important topic and, as such, only members of our Scouting family will be given the opportunity to voice their views at this gathering."
The Council serves about 17,000 youths in Fairfield and New Haven counties with the help of more than 4,000 adult volunteers, according to its website.
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