Scout Uniforms Not Allowed at Utah Pride Parade, Says Scoutmaster

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com June 01 2013 11:48 AM ET

Rick Barnes, the chief scouting executive for the Great Salt Lake Council, is warning Boy Scouts they will face repercussions if they dare to wear their uniforms to the Utah Pride Parade on Sunday.

Peter Brownstein, a straight Scouting enthusiast, began organizing LGBT and LGBT-supportive Scouts to take part in the Pride festivities, specifically the parade. Barnes found out about the participation and made it clear he does not want the Boy Scouts affiliated with the Pride festival.

"We as a Scouting movement do not advocate any social or political position, so I reminded Mr. Brownstein that we do not wear uniforms at an event like this," Barnes told NBC News. "We do not, as Boy Scouts, show support for any social or political position. We're neutral. If he wants to attend the parade and others do that are Scouts or Scouters, they're welcome to do so as private citizens wearing whatever they want except their uniform."

Brownstein says he is still considering wearing his uniform on Sunday, as is 18-year-old Scout Kenji Mikesell. As the Scouts recently decided to allow gay youths to participate in Scouting (though LGBT adults are still banned from being leaders), Mikesell says seeing a uniform in the parade would be a "welcoming" sign for "gay kids getting involved in Scouting."