The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 24, 2013

Little local reaction to Scouts’ gay vote

JOHNSTOWN — Thursday’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America to open their ranks to openly gay boys for the first time may have rocked the national council’s annual conference in Grapevine, Texas, but local Scout leaders say there has been little reaction here.

The fiercely contested compromise left the BSA’s longstanding ban on gay adults remain in force, leaving both liberal and conservative groups unsatisfied.

Of the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council who cast ballots, 61 percent supported the proposal drafted by the governing executive committee. The policy change will take effect Jan. 1.

Many liberal Scout leaders – as well as gay rights groups – plan to continue pressing for an end to that exclusion even though the BSA’s top officials aren’t ready for that step.

Meanwhile, many conservatives within the Scouts are distraught at the outcome of the vote and some are threatening to defect. A meeting is planned for next month to discuss the formation of a new organization for boys.

The scoutmaster for Troop 100 at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Richland Township expects little change in the active troop’s functions.

“We have never had the issue come up,” Scoutmaster Ronald Newsom said. “We certainly never turned anybody away. We just don’t talk about it.”

Newsom has been a Scout leader for more than 20 years, bringing his five sons through the program.

He said he was not contacted Friday by any of his members or parents in response to the National Council’s vote.

“I expect we are just going to continue with our program, just like we always have,” he said.

Keith Barclay, chairman of the Laurel Highlands Council’s Keystone District, said the council’s satellite office in Ebensburg did not receive much feedback early Friday.

“As far as I know,  there has not been any,” Barclay said Friday, adding that the office was quiet when he was there earlier in the day.

“We expected a lot of calls coming in reaction to the decision, voicing their opinions, for and against.”

A request for an update on reaction received at the Ebensburg satellite Friday was referred the council office in Pittsburgh, where Amy Franz declined to comment.

“I am going to have to refer you to our national office,” she said.

A call to the national office was not immediately returned Friday.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Flower2 Flowers' color doesn't have to fade

    Those pots of bright yellow daffodils, Easter lilies and hyacinths gracing the home this weekend do not have to end up in the trash bin when the blooms start to fade.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Refinancing could lower Richland School District's debt by $2.2M

    When Richland School District borrowed funds for its high school project a decade ago, board members circled “2014” on their calendars as a likely first option to refinance the debt.

    April 20, 2014

  • Pipeline to carry shale byproducts

    An 8-inch transmission line crossing Pennsylvania, including four municipalities in Cambria County, is being repurposed to carry some of the by-products from Marcellus and Utica shale production.

    April 20, 2014

  • Judge Creany, Timothy Vets courts gain support

    Signs of success are mostly anecdotal in Pennsylvania’s special courts for veterans, but judicial officials and lawmakers are so convinced of the program, they’re lobbying to expand it.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • pow21 Person of the Week: ‘I wanted to help’: Teen uses birthday to show love for children, animals

    Anastasia Machik’s love for children and animals inspired her to forgo her birthday gifts for the sake of the two.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students taking steps to call attention to child abuse

    An upcoming community walk will help raise awareness of child abuse.

    April 20, 2014

  • In brief: PennDOT reports weekly work schedule

    April 20, 2014

  • District Deaths April 21, 2014

    April 20, 2014

  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads