Atheists say Boy Scouts should lift more than gay ban

NEW YORK (AP) — Boy Scouts take an oath to do their "duty to God" and keep themselves "morally straight," which some see as supporting the long-standing ban on gay scouts and leaders.

With the executive board of the Boy Scouts of America poised to end that exclusion as early as next week, atheists want the ban on them lifted as well.

American Atheists President David Silverman applauds the proposal to let sponsors of local troops decide whether to accept gays, and says scouting should also welcome boys who don't believe in God.

But BSA spokesman Deron Smith says a change in the policy toward atheists is not being considered and that the BSA continues to view "Duty to God" as one of its basic principles.

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247-a-07-(David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in AP interview)-"in scouting policy"-David Silverman, president of American Atheists, says it's not enough for the Boy Scouts to lift their ban on gays. (30 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *247 (01/30/13)>> 00:07 "in scouting policy"

250-a-10-(David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in AP interview)-"cloaked in religion"-David Silverman, president of American Atheists, says people of faith should support allowing atheists into the Boy Scouts. (30 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *250 (01/30/13)>> 00:10 "cloaked in religion"

248-a-11-(David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in AP interview)-"a good person"-David Silverman, president of American Atheists, says atheists shouldn't be excluded from the Boy Scouts. (30 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *248 (01/30/13)>> 00:11 "a good person"

249-a-07-(David Silverman, president of American Atheists, in AP interview)-"being a scout"-David Silverman, president of American Atheists, says the Boy Scout oath shouldn't include pledging to do one's "duty to God." (30 Jan 2013)

<<CUT *249 (01/30/13)>> 00:07 "being a scout"

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