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Scouts Consider Ending Laguna Explorer Program

September 30, 1993| Special To The Times

LAGUNA BEACH — The Boy Scouts of America has warned that it will dismantle its Explorer Scout program here unless the city bars openly gay people from becoming members or advisers--something city officials refuse to do.

Kent W. Gibbs, president of the Boy Scouts' Orange County council, reaffirmed in a letter the organization's policy of excluding "avowed homosexuals" from the program.

Gibbs' letter came in response to Police Chief Neil J. Purcell Jr., who informed the Boy Scouts of America that the police department in Laguna Beach, which has a large gay community, will not comply with the policy barring homosexuals from its Explorer Scout program.

What happens to city's Explorer program, which has existed for two decades, will be discussed by the City Council in November. The charter agreement between the city and Boy Scouts of America comes up for renewal in February.

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