Two Boy Scout leaders have been reprimanded by the Utah chapter for marching in gay pride parade. PHOTO: Kitty Rainbow, CC License
"We were very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda at the Utah Pride Parade," council leaders wrote to Brownstein, according to the AP. "You and others are welcome to participate in the parade as supportive citizens but not as uniformed members of the BSA."
"We weren’t rallying for a politician or political event," Whitaker said. "To me, it was being supportive of my fellow human beings." He also pointed out that Scouts regularly march in Utah's "Days of '47" parade which commemorates the Mormon journey to freedom and acceptance.
"I am a straight scoutmaster with a wife, two children and a golden retriever so it does not impact me other than the loss to our troop of some great volunteers to the program," Brownstein told ABC News Radio.He added to the ABC News Salt Lake affiliate: "What we did was carry the American flag proudly at the front of the parade; and having scouts in color guards in parades is as American as apple pie."
The argument between the two Scout leaders and the Utah chapter shows the shifting tides of gay rights in America. The Boy Scouts of Utah aren't so much wrong as behind the times. Twenty years ago, marching in a gay pride parade would absolutely be considered a political statement. These days, it is still a political statement, but one that has become so mainstream that it is the reaction to what they did that makes the far more notable statement. And the fact that this argument has reached the Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts of America shows just how far the gay rights movement has come.