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Scout council demands apology from leaders who marched in Pride parade

By Andrew Adams | Posted - Jun 17th, 2013 @ 10:33am

SALT LAKE CITY — The Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts of America is demanding an apology from two Scout leaders who marched in the Utah Pride Parade earlier this month.

The council says the two leaders, Peter Brownstein and Neil Whitaker, violated the organization's policy which bans Scout members from using their standing for political reasons.

The two men marched along with some other Scouts in uniform in the parade. The Great Salt Lake Council maintains wearing the Scout uniform in the parade was a violation of policy. The council says Scouting isn't supposed to be used to promote political agendas.

If Brownstein and Whitaker don't apologize, they could risk lose their memberships with the Boy Scouts.

But the two men appear to be unapologetic. They've refused to sign an apology letter and Brownstein essentially maintains they did nothing wrong. He told ABC News Radio he wasn't even in uniform at the parade and he didn't intend to provoke anybody.

"We received some comments back accusing us of promoting a gay agenda," he said. "I would say all we were doing was proudly displaying the colors at a community celebration."


The display came about a month after Boy Scouts of America lifted its ban on gay members. Its ban on gay Scout leaders remains in place.

"I'm a straight scoutmaster with a wife, two children and a golden retriever," Brownstein said. "So it does not impact me other than the loss to our troop of some potential great volunteers."

The national organization is standing by the local council's decision to reprimand these leaders. A spokesman told ABC News the men do not represent themselves.

"It is unfortunate that these individuals chose to use a youth program to seek attention for themselves and to advance a personal agenda," read a statement to ABC.

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