Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Eagle Scout Turns in Awards in Protest

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Rochester: Eagle Scout Turns in Awards in Protest
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A national protest against the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy is finding a voice here in Rochester. A one-time Eagle Scout joined more than 100 similar protests by surrendering his scout awards.

On the 100th anniversary of the Eagle Scout award, Joel Helfrich staged his one person protest outside the Seneca Waterways Council headquarters on East Avenue.

Helfrich, who became an Eagle Scout in 1991, brought all of his awards with him and returned them to local scout leaders.

"Fundamentally, I just don't agree with the policy and I think there's a lot of other Boy Scouts that feel the same way. So for me, it was just I'd had enough and I'm quite ashamed I didn't do it sooner,” said Helfrich.

Seneca Waterways Council Executive Director Stephen Hoitt said in a statement:

"Our local Boy Scout Council worked in cooperation with the Gay Alliance to craft a membership policy that was acceptable to both organizations. Both organizations have committed to work together over the last eleven years without any problem."

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