Washington Secrets

Gays welcome in new scouting group --- but don't fly a 'rainbow flag'

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Gay rights,Boy Scouts

A new scouting group was unveiled Tuesday that will ban gay activism by boys and scout leaders, and promote a "sexually pure" code of conduct that promotes marriage between a man and woman.

Reacting to the decision by the Boy Scouts to allow openly gay boys to join, the new group organized by OnMyHonor.net said it would not bar homosexuals and would not conduct a "witchhunt" to reveal gays.

But OnMyHonor.net founder John Stemberger said scouts will not be allowed to "act out" a gay agenda. "If folks can affirm our values," he said, "then they can participate.

He explained, "If a young man has a same sex attraction, he would not be turned away in the program, but he's not going to be allowed to openly flaunt it, and carry a rainbow flag."

Following the Boy Scout's recent decision to allow gay activists to join, Stemberger said some 30,000 families have approached his group to encourage the creation of a new, more conservative and Christian-based group. He cited some predictions that up to 400,000 scouts might leave the Boy Scouts.

The group has not settled on a name yet, though it plans to unveil it September 6 at a two-day inaugural convention in Nashville.

Stemberger called it a "movement that has been created based on need."

In a conference call with reporters, the new group's leaders stressed the Christian aspect of the organization, but they said non-Christians will welcome All a boy has to do is adhere to their "basic code of conduct," they said.

While the new group will be different than the Boy Scouts, scouts will be allowed to transfer their rank into the new group. It will also focus on outdoor, volunteer and survival activities just like the Boy Scouts.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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