Salt Lake City Boy Scout Troop Banned From School Over Gay Membership Stance

A Salt Lake City School Board member filed a federal complaint last month against his own district for what he claims are discriminatory practices against the Boy Scouts at a local elementary school.

Board member Michael Clara, a moderate Republican, filed the complaint after 30 Cub Scouts were blocked from meeting at Mountain View Elementary School because Principal James Martin said the district’s anti-bias policy conflicted with the Scouts’ ban on gay members and leaders.

“I was a little embittered that the Scouts were banned from the school,” Clara told Fox News Latino. “You can’t eliminate people because their moral compass is different than yours.”

You can’t eliminate people because their moral compass is different than yours.

- Michael Clara, Salt Lake City School Board member

In his complaint, Clara states that in mid-March two Latino parents reported to him that the principal banned the Cub Scouts from the school. Clara then spoke to the principal, who said that the Cub Scout meetings violated the anti-bias policy of district. Clara argued his decision was a misapplication of the district policy as there are faith-based groups that meet at the school that share similar views to that of the Boy Scouts on gay members.

“This is contrary to federal law,” Clara said, citing the Boy Scout Act that prevents schools receiving federal funding from preventing the Boy Scouts from meeting at the institutions.

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Clara’s complaint took both Mountain View Elementary and the school board by surprise. The particular Cub Scout troop had not met at the school for over year due to staffing issues and only recently met with Martin to express an interest in once again meeting at the school for one hour each week.

Martin purportedly explained that the groups could rent space at the school, but he needed to check if a partnership with the Boy Scouts would conflict with the district's anti-discrimination policy, said a statement provided to Fox News Latino by the Salt Lake City School District.

 The national group, the Boy Scouts of America, is deciding whether to keep or change its ban on openly gay members and leaders.

The current BSA policy reads: "While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA."

Clara, a newly elected school board member who has been involved in the Boy Scouts for 20 years, has already two federal complaints during his time in office. His first questioned whether inexperienced and ineffective teachers are overrepresented on the west side of the school district.

Follow Andrew O'Reilly on Twitter @aoreilly84.

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