The Winston-Salem Journal                October 13, 2002

“Local protesters ask for Boy Scouts policy change”

Organization accused of exclusion of gays, religious discrimination

By Michael Hewlett, Journal Reporter


Matt Hill, a bespectacled 16-year-old dressed in a Boy Scout uniform, stretched his arms high and held up a pink sign with the words, “I am a gay Boy Scout” scrawled in large black ink.


He stood outside the local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America at 6600 Silas Creek Parkway at noon yesterday with four other people, protesting the Boy Scout policy on homosexuality.


The Boy Scouts do not allow openly gay scouts.


Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America can bar homosexuals from becoming troop leaders.


Hill said that two years ago, he was kicked out of a local Boy Scout troop because he was gay.


“I was given a choice, either be gay or be a Boy Scout,” Hill said. Being gay, he said, wasn’t a choice.


Wayne Brown, the assistant director of the local Boy Scout of American chapter (sic) declined to comment yesterday about the protest.


The silent protest was part of a national campaign by Scouting For All, which is based in Petaluma, Calif. Replacements, Ltd., a Greensboro company that sells china, crystal and other collectibles, and the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Winston-Salem sponsored the rally.


Gail Davis, who held a white sign saying, “Atheists support Scouting For All,” accused the Boy Scouts of America of religious discrimination. Her husband, the Rev. Daniel Charles Davis, is the pastor of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship.


Several years ago, national Boy Scout leaders told the Unitarian-Universalist Association that it had no authority to give religious emblems to Unitarian-Universalist boys in the Boy Scouts.


She said she also thinks what happened to Hill was wrong.


“I support Matt,” she said.


Michael Hewlett can be reached at 336-727-7326 or at

Transcribed to computer file: December 9, 2004