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Boy Scouts 'Actively Considering' End to Ban on Gay Members, Leaders

The Boy Scouts are "actively considering" an end to their ban on gay members and leaders, NBC News reports:

BsaIf adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial -- one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters.

The changes could be announced as early as next week, according to NBC News, following their national board meeting.

The Boy Scouts official statement from BSA spokesperson Deron Smith:

For more than 100 years, Scouting's focus has been on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.

Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.

The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

Said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick in response to the announcement: "The Boy Scouts of America have heard from scouts, corporations and millions of Americans that discriminating against gay scouts and scout leaders is wrong. Scouting is a valuable institution and this change will only strengthen its core principles of fairness and respect."

Added Zach Wahls, Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality: "This would be an incredible step forward in the right direction. We look forward to working with BSA Councils and chartering organizations across the country to end the exclusion of our gay brothers in Scouting, as well as the gay and lesbian leaders who serve the organizations so well."

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Comments

  1. This would happen sooner or later. A lot of it is economic and donations- money talks. But once it happens, they will probably ease into it, whatever they may think, it's not he end of the world.

    Posted by: beaugard stevens | Jan 28, 2013 9:33:47 PM


  2. A large per centage of Boy Scout troops are sponsored by the Mormon church, and a lot more by Roman Catholic church. Obviously the Boy Scouts is telling them they can still be as homophobic as they want. This is a face-saving not even half measure which is the minimum they think they have to do to survive.

    Posted by: emjayay | Jan 28, 2013 10:52:50 PM


  3. To me...this shows one thing. When we LGBT and our straight allies challenge homophobia, engage homophobia, and demand answers from homophobia...we see results. It's only when you roll up your sleeves and request bigotry be questioned and called out that we can make room for understanding. Complacency toward bigotry should have no room in 2013.

    Each of us can make society a more loving place by doing our part to promote equality, diversity and acceptance, and by calling out bigotry of any kind.

    Posted by: Jordan | Jan 29, 2013 3:34:53 AM


  4. While I would absolutely applaud any organization or individual that evolves and embraces tolerance, I wouldn't trust my son to be in their presence. Did you change your heart? or was it the change in your wallet that created this? In this new era, I want my children to be around people who teach them to accept and respect other people, not be ignorant toward them. Hopefully the Boys Scout gets there some day, but I don't believe all their leaders are there today, and until I feel they are- I'd never feel comfortable to place my son in their presence.
    That being said. I do hope this change does come, as it would help continue building the momentum LGBT have going.

    Posted by: Carlos | Jan 29, 2013 3:40:46 AM


  5. While I would absolutely applaud any organization or individual that evolves and embraces tolerance, I wouldn't trust my son to be in their presence. Did you change your heart? or was it the change in your wallet that created this? In this new era, I want my children to be around people who teach them to accept and respect other people, not be ignorant toward them. Hopefully the Boys Scout gets there some day, but I don't believe all their leaders are there today, and until I feel they are- I'd never feel comfortable to place my son in their presence.
    That being said. I do hope this change does come, as it would help continue building the momentum LGBT have going.

    Posted by: Carlos | Jan 29, 2013 3:40:50 AM


  6. This, my friends, is what happens when you go after the $$. The Scouts were beginning to lose oodles of corporate sponsorships, to the tune of millions of dollars, so say nothing of the donations and membership of pro-equality community members across the country.

    It's not anywhere near time to pat ourselves on the back. The policy hasn't changed, and no one should rest until there are no "local" parts of the Scouts that are anti-gay.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 29, 2013 5:05:36 AM


  7. $$$ makes the world go 'round, makes the world go 'round, makes the world go 'round....$$$ makes the world go 'round, so don't piss nobody off! (I know, double-negative, but grant me poetic liberty from grammar...LOL) Nope, don't buy it. For all I care, they could recruit in a Chick fill-HATE and it wouldn't matter to me. You think I'm so bad 'cause I'm gay? Guess what...my $$$ sure ain't gay, isn't it? Yeah, just like all the other whores, they cave at $$$. Typical whores.

    Posted by: millerbeach | Jan 29, 2013 5:17:10 AM


  8. This is somewhat encouraging. It gets the national organization around what can only be described as a colossal PR mess. Unfortunately, it's a compromise position that continues to permit bigotry where it's tolerated.

    Posted by: Joe in CT | Jan 29, 2013 7:45:13 AM


  9. Too Widdle Too Wate, Don't care anymore.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Jan 29, 2013 8:12:10 AM


  10. Please keep in mind that everyone is or should be protected by Sivel Rights. It so plain and simple. Give people a chance who are not exactly like you. Try not to be fearful of people who are different from you. I feel that Racisum, sexism, and biggotry,among other ways of singling people out is wrong, and past it's prim. That sort of jusgment won't last much longer. It will be outlawed soon. Please take a stand and be a part of the proactive group of clubs. Your prograam will flourish for it. Good luck to you all, thank you for providing,such an important group for youth! Fondly, Sara Mains

    Posted by: Sara Mains | Jan 31, 2013 3:11:19 AM


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