Wichita Falls, TX - It has been nearly a week since the Boys Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay adult leaders. When the decision came down we talked with local troop leaders about how this would affect their operations.
Newschannel 6 also reached out to a local pastor of a church in Wichita Falls that caters to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to hear their thoughts on the century old boys club decision.
"Given that they are The Boys Scouts of America, and given that we have such a wide understanding in faith communities of the identity of gay people, I think they've have done what they can do," said Melanie Martinez, Pastor at Metropolitan Community Church.
However, church-based troops are still able to choose leaders that align with its religious beliefs.
In 2013, the values-based organization of nearly 2.5 million members voted to allow gay scouts to participate in troops, but not adult leaders. Following that decision it saw a decline in membership, along with scrutiny from LGBT groups and the withdrawal of several major donors followed.
"I think they're coming to the realization that they made that decision in haste and with entirely too much prejudice, too much discrimination and misunderstanding involved," said Martinez.
She says her congregation accepts members from all walks of life, including members of the LGBT community.
"To allow openly gay leaders is a testament to the fact that the Boys Scouts of America are just that, the Boys Scouts of America, they're not the Boys Scouts of one church or another or any one faith," said Martinez.
Martinez acknowledges the organization has many affiliations with churches that host troops, and believes faith led groups should have the right to choose its leaders.
"In fact, in the Boys Scouts law the boys are taught to be reverent -- to not only revere God but also to respect other people's beliefs," said Martinez.