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Lincoln Heritage Council: Reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy

This petition had 4,639 supporters

My name is Greg Bourke, and in August 2012, the Lincoln Heritage Council and Boy Scouts of America forced me to resign my position as Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 325 in Louisville, KY. Despite five years of dedicated service to my troop, district, council and the BSA, it was determined that I had to go because I admitted that I was gay and as a result LHC said I "did not meet its membership requirements."

Photo above: Former Assistant Scoutmaster Greg Bourke and his son.

After being forcibly removed from my position, I received unanimous support from my Troop, Troop Committee, Church, Scouts, Scout Leaders and Scout Parents. The local newspaper published both a news article and an editorial showcasing the discrimination I suffered at the hands of the Lincoln Heritage Council and the BSA. In September 2012, I received a special "Legislative Citation" from the State of Kentucky House of Representatives honoring me and my dedication to Scouting and service to my community.

My partner and and I have been together for over 30 years, and we were legally married in Canada nine years ago.  We have been very active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky for over 25 years. 

We have two adopted children, ages 13 and 14, a girl and a boy.  I have been a Girl Scout leader for seven years, and was a Cub/Boy Scout leader for over five years until I ws forced to resign.  I have been fully trained by both the Girl Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America, passed numerous background checks, and have been what many consider a model Scout leader.

My son is currently a Life Rank Boy Scout, has completed all of his necessary Merit Badges, and is now working on his Eagle Project.  I have been with him all the way on his journey to Eagle, but now the BSA has forced me to resign.

Please sign this petition and help let the Lincoln Heritage Council and Boy Scouts of America know that its discriminatory policy against gay leaders and youth must come to an end.

Among service organizations, the Boy Scouts are increasingly isolating themselves with their discriminatory policy. Organizations including the Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the 4H Club all welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders.

We love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy. That's why we urge you to speak out against the ban on gay Scouts and leaders and adopt an inclusive policy like other troops, packs, councils, and lodges across the country have done -- so the Boy Scouts can maintain its relevancy, improve recruitment, and truly live by the principles it teaches its members.

NOTE: We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you're a current or former Scout or leader, please say so in the "Why People Are Signing" section. Thanks!

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