‘‘I never had a single bad experience in Scouting,’’ said Lucien, who came out as gay to family and friends while a sophomore in high school.
‘‘I never advertised it but never felt uncomfortable discussing it,’’ he said. ‘‘It was never an issue as a Scout. ... It’s always been a very welcoming troop.’’
Yet for all his gratitude toward Troop 52 for supporting him and Pascal, Lucien is frustrated by the official national policy excluding gays as both Scouts and adult leaders. Giving troop sponsors leeway to set their own policies would be a positive step, Lucien said, but he would prefer a nationwide nondiscrimination policy.
His mother has juggled a corporate information-technology job with a steady stream of Scouting duties — den leader, troop committee chair, merit badge coordinator.
She said Scouting had been rewarding for both sons, helping them build self-confidence, acquire leadership skills and develop respect for others.
‘‘I can’t be a prouder mom,’’ she said.
Recently, she’s been a self-described ringleader of efforts among like-minded parents to intensify opposition to the national no-gays policy.
‘‘It’s bothered me a lot — it’s bothered a lot of other people I know,’’ she said. ‘‘If you look at the Scout Oath and Scout Promise, espousing respect for others, it’s just hypocritical to say, ‘You should be that way to everybody in the world except your gay friends.'’’
‘‘When I say we’re involved in Scouting, people wrinkle their nose,’’ Felker said. ‘‘When we go door to door for the annual Scout food drive, we've had families in our neighborhood say they won’t contribute until the Scouts change their policies.’’
Lucien doesn’t feel any Scout-related stigma himself, but says it’s time for change.
‘‘I'm not ashamed of being a Boy Scout,’’ he said. ‘‘But I want to see them reverse this policy. I want to see them join the 21st century.’’
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