A former Weber County man wants people to know the good that came to his life two years ago from Scouting.
He also wants them to know of the pain he felt when that experience was taken away because he was gay.
"Some people mistake gays as predators," said Lane Alvey, 48. "It isn't the truth. It's a fallacy."
Alvey grew up in Roy and is a former student body president of Weber State University. "Being gay is who I am," he said. "It's not what I do or what I am about."
Alvey, who now lives in Salinas, Calif., said he knew there was a Scouting policy against gay leaders when he was called by his Salt Lake City-area LDS bishop to be one.
He said, in November 2010, he told his bishop of this policy, but the bishop insisted that Alvey was right for the role.
"During the interview, I said, 'I can't be on the troop committee' because I was gay," he said. "I reluctantly agreed to it a few days later."
The calling came shortly after a policy of The Church of Jesus Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints outlined guidelines for its leaders to grant temple recommends to homosexuals who were not practicing a gay lifestyle.
Alvey had just received a temple recommend.
Alvey said while he started out being reluctant, he excelled in the Scout program.
"I was invited to attend a wood badge leadership conference for adult Scout leaders," he said. "It's the highest form of training you can do. ... Within six months, I had completed it. This usually takes a year to a year and a half to complete."
Alvey said he became hooked on his activities with the Scouts.
"I was called to the Boy Scouts," he said. "I wasn't excited about it, but I loved it. I rose to the top really fast. I not only did well, I excelled."
He said he got to meet with "incredible" people every month.
"They were real great leaders of the community, and I was among them."
He also became involved in helping youths with their community service projects and Eagle Scout projects.
"Every week, I would meet Scouts and the Scoutmaster," he said. "I would go to activities, and I really started enjoying it."
But then in December 2011, Alvey said he was disappointed when his visibly emotional bishop called him into his office to tell him he would have to be released; the bishop had learned that Alvey couldn't be a Scout leader because he was gay.
"I was really hurt," Alvey said. "I said, 'I hold a recommend.' He said, 'I know.' Basically I could be called to anything in the church except in the Boy Scouts."
Alvey had been asked to help lead an upcoming wood badge course for adults.
He said he was allowed to serve in that capacity and he was allowed to complete his third ticket -- three of five acknowledgements for extensive service projects -- after he got permission from some council leaders to do so.
But that final activity was bittersweet for Alvey.
"I felt like I'd been gutted. I felt like I had my heart ripped out."
Alvey said he quit being active in the church after that experience.
"Few topics are as emotionally charged or require more sensitivity than same-sex attraction," Ruth Todd, spokeswoman for the LDS Church, said in response to this article.
"As we have said, the church has a single moral standard for all members," she said in an official statement to the newspaper.
"Anyone willing to live by that standard is entitled to full participation in the church, including serving in leadership positions and participating in temple worship. Matters regarding church callings are handled by local church leaders."
Allen Endicott, Scout executive with the Boy Scouts of America Trapper Trails Council, said he did not find the story unusual, stating that leaders are able to recruit Scout leaders as they see fit and also to release them in like manner.
"As long as they meet the membership standards, they can serve," he said. He also forwarded the Boy Scouts of America membership standards to the newspaper.
There are several statements in the current membership standards that may be applied to issues regarding sexuality.
Endicott pointed to the following statement as the standard leaders are asked to follow in choosing adult volunteers:
"While the BSA does not pro-actively inquire about 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."
Alvey said he decided to tell his story this week because a vote is approaching the week of May 20 by the Boy Scouts of America National Council in Texas to decide whether to disallow gay youth from joining troops.
The vote is not designed to reverse the policy keeping openly gay leaders from serving.
Alvey pointed to a number of Boy Scouts of America policies that keep youth members safe.
"It is set up to prevent predators from doing any harm," he said.
The youths are not allowed to be alone with their leaders, he said. No leader ever stays in the same camp as the youths.
Alvey referred to the BSA Youth Protection Program, which requires two-deep leadership. (See related story on Scouting's Barriers to Abuse policies.)
Policies prevent any adult leader or volunteer from ever being in a one-on-one situation with Scouts. The policy is designed for protecting the youths as well as adults from false accusations, he said.
Two BSA Youth Protection-trained adults are required at each and every Scout activity.
There also are many legal protections that the BSA leaders and adult volunteers comply with under Utah law as part of the Youth Protection Training.
"The only thing I did was try to help Scouting be better," Alvey said.
"How could this happen when someone was honest and up-front?"
He said he was asked to leave not because he did anything wrong but because someone called him on a technicality.
Alvey said he thought his bishop believed his service would be a good idea.
"I felt like someone complained."