Reporting Laura Cole
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Lawmakers all are agreeing on commending the Boy Scouts for their century of service, but how they choose to go about doing so – they couldn’t disagree more.
“It means loyalty and bravery to me,” James Stamps, 9, said about being in the Boy Scouts
Young James doesn’t know anything about politics, only what it means to have fun.
“The campouts,” he said of his favorite parts of being in the Boy Scouts.
He’s part of 102-year tradition with Boy Scouts of America, a group at the center of controversy during Tuesday’s Judiciary Committee meeting at the state Capitol.
Republican lawmaker Mike Morrell introduced a resolution to acknowledge the group’s 100-plus years of service. But he was surprised when it turned into a political debate.
“My friends across the aisle wanted to inject some of their politics and political correctness and impose their will on the Boy Scouts,” he said.
But some Democrats say the resolution is political.
“I don’t know how you remove politics from personal lives,” Assembly member Toni Atkins said. “It is political, but it’s also very personal.”
Atkins says the Boy Scouts should be recognized but feels the group discriminates against people based on sexual orientation.
“Because it sends the wrong message,” she said. “California does not discriminate. All of our polices make reference to the inclusion of all people and the Boy Scouts do not do that.”
But for James and his mother the Boy Scouts’ message is clear.
“You’re trying to make the boys into better men,” his mother said. “You want them to be strong, good citizens of their community.”
Morrell says he only wanted to recognize the group without letting politics get in the way.
“To say thank you for 102 years of your volunteerism, helping out our state and our communities,” he said.
And while Morrell’s resolution didn’t pass the Judiciary Committee, another resolution introduced by Democrats passed that included language that supported the Boy Scouts but also “encourages Boy Scouts of America to accept for membership and leadership positions all qualified boys and men without discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.”