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Cub Scouts Win Merit Badges for Challenging Gay Ban

February 17, 1992

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) _ Members of a Cub Scout den earned citizenship badges by challenging the Boy Scouts of America ban on homosexuals and atheists.

″Cub Scouts is supposed to be for everyone,″ said Max Wentler, a member of Webelos Den 1.

The Cub Scouts sent a petition to scouting headquarters in Irving, Texas, asking leaders to overturn the ban. They also wrote to two agnostic Southern California boys banned from the Cub Scouts and to a gay former Eagle Scout from Berkeley who is suing the Boy Scouts for rejecting his scoutmaster application.

The boys’ den leaders awarded them citizenship badges for their efforts last week.

Two weeks ago, a Boy Scout troop in San Jose was threatened with loss of its charter after proclaiming it will accept gay members. The Berkeley Cub Scouts aren’t going that far.

″We like Cubs too much to want to leave it, but when something’s wrong you have to take some sort of action,″ den member Daniel Greenman said.

Boy Scouts of America spokesman Blake Lewis said the organization’s executives had not received the petition and had no comment.

The director of the Mount Diablo Scouting Council, which oversees Den 1, said the council would take no action against the boys.

″It’s pretty obvious to me that it was some adult who had a personal belief about this and unfortunately chose the kids to carry out their message,″ Quentin Alexander said. ″They’re being very Berkeley about this.″

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