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Two army heroes begin 1,800 mile bike ride to Texas

By Stephanie Hale-Lopez
Published On: May 03 2013 07:53:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 05 2013 02:18:55 AM CDT

As the Boy Scouts of America prepare to vote on a resolution that would lift its ban on gay youth, the McGrath father and son duo left Idaho Falls Friday for BSA headquarters in Texas.

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -

Dave and Joe McGrath, two army heroes from Idaho Falls, are looking to change the Boy Scouts of America ban on gay members and troop leaders.

Friday morning, their 1,800 mile bike ride to Boy Scout headquarters in Irving, Texas begins.

The McGraths will go through Salt Lake City, Colorado and eventually Texas.

As the Boy Scouts of America prepare to vote on a resolution that would lift its ban on gay youth, the McGrath father and son duo left Idaho Falls Friday for BSA headquarters in Texas.

They will make the trip entirely on their bikes and without a support vehicle.

"Rain gear, cold weather gear," said Joe. "We have our sleeping bags and bivy sacks. We're actually not carrying a tent to try to shed off some weight."

Dozens of community members held a bike ride send-off for the McGraths -- stopping by the Grand Teton Council office, where Dave delivered his petition.

"I ask that you please receive these with the spirit that they're given which is a spirit of concern and of hope," said Dave.

Scout executive, Clarke Farrer, said he admires the McGraths for putting their lives on the line with their bike ride, but the BSA doesn't ban gays.

"We don't accept open and about homosexuals as members of Boy Scouts of America. In practice, it's been like the former military policy of 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,'" said Farrer.

Boy Scouts of America leaders will gather for their annual meeting May 22 and Dave and Joe plan on being there.

A resolution will be up for discussion -- stating no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

"There's not a place in scouting for sexuality," said Farrer. "It's not a part of what we teach, it's not what we do. Those who want to make an issue or those that want to discuss those issues or push those agendas through scouting, it's not appropriate."

Communities along the way will be biking alongside the McGraths for a couple of miles to show support.

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