Advocacy groups delighted by Boy Scouts’ transgender stance

By ISAAC CONSTANS
Capital News Service
LANSING — Michigan LGBT lobbyists are hailing the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to admit transgender boys as a momentous step in the struggle for recognition of equal rights. “Boy Scouts of America’s decision to accept transgender boys is an extraordinary leap in the right direction for equality in our country,” said Angeles Valenciano, chief executive officer for the National Diversity Council, which has a chapter in Michigan. “We believe it is very commendable that they have chosen to create an inclusive environment for children from all backgrounds.”
On Jan. 30, the Boy Scouts decided that registering individuals based on the gender listed on their birth certificate was an antiquated practice. Instead, the new procedure will allow members to enroll based on the gender listed on their application.

Bill would add handguns to camp safety classes

By STEPHEN INGBER
Capital News Service
LANSING – Would you let your child handle a pistol if you were not present? Legislation introduced in the House would allow youth in a camp-like setting to receive firearms instruction and safety training from professional instructors without parent or guardian supervision. Currently the Boy Scouts offer rifle and shotgun instruction from professionals but the bill would allow Scouts to begin practicing with handguns. Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, introduced the legislation. “Scouting, shooting and hunting are things that are deeply ingrained in the heritage of our life in northern and mid-Michigan, “Potvin said.

Gay scouts and troop leaders may be able to take part in Boy Scouts

By Lia Kananipuamaeole Kamana
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
Last week the Boy Scouts of America announced that it is considering an end to the organization’s ban on gay troop leaders and scouts. A national board meeting in May will decide the issue. If the board were to decide to lift the ban on gays, it would still leave the final decisions on membership and leadership up to the individual troops and sponsors. “I believe it would cause animosity and trouble amongst troops that are OK with it and those that aren’t,” said Irfan Mir, a current MSU junior majoring in neuroscience, who once was a part of Troop 164 in Okemos, Mich.         

Tyler Beck, a junior at Michigan State University who was involved with Troop 292 in Kalamazoo prior to it moving, said that the he believes the lift of the ban would cause problems with older members and sponsors.