Boy Scouts Threaten to Cut Off Maryland Troop for Posting Non-Discrimination Policy Supporting Gays


The Boy Scouts of America are threatening a local Maryland troop, Pack 442, after the troop posted a Non-Discrimination Policy on its website reading "Pack 442 WILL NOT discriminate,against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability, or sexual orientation."

NondiscriminationMother Jones reports:

In September, the families of Pack 442, which is based in Cloverly, Maryland (a small town less than 20 miles from the nation's capital), anonymously voted and overwhelmingly approved to adopt a non-discrimination statement. According to Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442, the pack wanted Boy Scouts of America to know "we will not stand for the discrimination of homosexual minors or adults whatsoever."

Not long after the statement was posted, the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), one of the bigger local councils of the Boy Scouts of America, asked the pack to strike it from the website. "At first they [said] they would "allow" us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech. Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out," says Phillips.

The BSA has given the pack until tomorrow to remove the message or lose recognition from the BSA, which means losing access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps.

GLAAD President Herndon Graddick told Mother Jones:

"To think that the Boy Scouts would rather cast out elementary school children than accept a parent-approved policy allowing gay children and parents to participate is just unconscionable. How many young Scouts is the BSA willing to sacrifice in order to preserve its harmful and discriminatory policies? This despicable act of bullying and intimidation is yet another reminder that the BSA is out of touch with its members and the American public at large."


  1. Just curious says

    I wonder if GLAAD would hire a straight Christian to work for their organization.

    Crying wolf at every single turn seems more like ‘professional victim’ instead of trying to enforce change. One Boy Scout troop doesn’t by any means represent all and this just makes them look silly.

  2. Alex Parrish says

    @Just Curious — Your questions is irrelevant (and a little silly.) This situation with the BSA troop is not a hiring situation — and if it were, it would be covered by statues in many locations so it would be moot point. BTW there are many straight Christians who would qualify and be glad to work at GLADD and I would not be surprised if some do. Not everyone has your myopic view of the world, fortunately.

  3. says

    Agree w/@MALAYSIANHO – scream your head off at any company, corporation or individual who funds the Boy Scouts of America. Pull your child OUT of BSoA if he is a current member and put him in another scout-like group such as Earth Scouts, Navigators, Adventure Guides, Spiral Scouts, Camp Fire USA or try the 4-H Clubs.

  4. Mike in the Tundra says

    It’s driving me crazy (not hard to do). It’s a Cub Scout pack, not a Boy Scout troop. It doesn’t change any thing, but this old Boy Scout feels better. @Just Curious – it doesn’t make them look silly, it makes them look like they have respect for all human beings.

  5. Ryan says

    Not everyone who is involved with boy scouts even on the national level is a bigot. There are people on the national board who are pro gay and working for change. I’m an Eagle Scout and I’d love to see the organisational change, and I believe with continued pressure and with enough of my fellow eagle scouts continuing to speak out, we will eventually see a shift on this.

  6. Ernst Rhoem's Ghost says

    Point of vocabulary: The phrase, “the discrimination of homosexual[s]” properly means either (a) or else (b).
    (a) the ability of homosexuals to discriminate — i.e. to judge something.
    E.g. “Those gays are really discriminating customers. They only buy the best products!”

    (b) the discerning or spotting/noticing of homosexuals. “Alice has fantastic gaydar! She can discriminate between gays and straights guys every time!”

    What the woman in the article really meant to say was “We will not stand for discrimination AGAINST homosexuals.”

  7. Bill says

    I think the BSA needs to be subjected to an old Silicon Valley custom: the spin off. Before things were as corporate as today, if a group of scientists or engineers found the management brain-dead or otherwise insufferable, they’d split en mass and form their own company. Often is was because someone had a bright idea that the management didn’t want to pursue, but sometimes it was that the management was such a pain that people would vote with their feet. Here’s a description of the classic example: .

    If the BSA sees lots of their boy scout packs (or whatever they call them) abandoning ship, they will get the point in a hurry. They won’t like it, but unless they are run by completely idiots, reality will eventually sink in.

    How hard it is to manufacture some badges and uniforms to hand out? These days, you just go to a website download the design, and off you go.

  8. Just curious says

    @Alex Parrish..and not everyone thinks that someone who doesn’t see things their way is ‘myopic’. Fortunately.

    @AKI that’s a fantastic analogy

  9. Jerry6 says

    When I was a Scout in the late 1930’s (Yes, I Am that old) our Scout Master was a known Homosexual. We had four Troops; One for the Homos, and three for the Straits. There was NO discrimination or Parents complaining about the “Queers”. Incidentally, The Morning Swim in the lake was mandatory “Naked” as soap and wash cloths made it our morning wash. The afternoon swim was optional, but very few Scouts wore bathing suits. Homophobia was NOT rampant in those days.

  10. Arthur D. Calfee says

    The BSA is definately wrong in making this an issue with the Cub Scout Pack 442 in Maryland. This should have been their opportunity to overlook this and go on to more important issues. Now that it is blown all out in the news, they should back off, apologize for their actions and let Troop 442 and any other troop do as they please about letting gay kids into their troop. Step back and shut the mouth!

  11. says

    My total support to the pack 442 and their courage to voice their position.

    Scouts, true Scouts – do not discriminate. This is a founding value of the Scout Movement, intended to be a worldwide brotherhood (and sisterhood) of people committed to creating a better world: one of social justice and peace.

    Eduardo Missoni
    former Secretary General
    World Organization of the Scout Movement

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