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Boy Scouts Release Statement on Gay Ban Vote Delay

The Boy Scouts released this statement on the gay ban vote, which has been postponed until May:

BsaFor 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it's youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.

After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting's membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers' work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.

Tell us your theories about what's behind the delay in the comments.

UPDATE: More reactions, via GLAAD.

"An organization that serves youth and chooses to intentionally hurt dedicated young people and hardworking parents not only flies in the face of American principles, but the principles of being a Boy Scout," said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. "The Boy Scouts of America is choosing to ignore the cries of millions, including religious institutions, current scouting families, and corporate sponsors, but these cries will not be silenced. We're living in a culture where hurting young gay people because of who they are is unpopular and discriminatory. They had the chance to end the pain this ban has caused to young people and parents, they chose to extend the pain."
Jennifer Tyrrell, a gay mom from Bridgeport, Ohio, who was ousted as the leader of her son’s Cub Scout Pack in April 2012 because of her sexual orientation, helped spark a national movement calling on the Boy Scouts to change its policy. Tyrrell, with the support of GLAAD, started a petition on that rallied hundreds of thousands urging the Boy Scouts to welcome gay Scouts and leaders.
"A scout is supposed to be brave, and the Boy Scouts failed to be brave today," said Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell. "The Boy Scouts had the chance to help countless young people and devoted parents, but they've failed us yet again. No parent should have to loo their child in the eye and explain that the Boy Scouts don't want us. Our fight will continue and we will continue to educate donors and supporters of the Boy Scouts about the effects of their anti-gay policy.”
Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and founder of the organization Scouts for Equality, said that today’s news was simply not a strong enough gesture from the Boy Scouts of America to ensure that they take discrimination seriously.
"This is an abdication of responsibility," said straight Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, the founder of Scouts for Equality. "By postponing this decision, the BSA has caved to those who argue that their anti-gay attitudes trump basic Scouting values of kindness, courtesy and bravery. Scouting was built on a foundation of respect and dignity. Today, the BSA cracked that foundation."
"On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America received 1.4 million petition signatures urging the organization to end its national policy banning gay youth and parents, and today, those voices went unanswered," said Senior Campaign Manager Mark Anthony Dingbaum. "With 9 national campaigns and over 50 local campaigns already launched on calling for an end to the BSA's policy, how many more stories of gay youth and leaders, like Ryan Andresen and Jen Tyrrell, need to surface before the Boy Scouts decide to end this policy?"

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  1. Incapacitating fear. Easy. There have been gay scouts since the there have been gay soldiers, etc. Please.

    Posted by: Geoff | Feb 6, 2013 2:58:52 PM

  2. Sad, really really sad that organizations of a supposedly Democratic Society bows to hate mongers and the religious cults. Revoke, Revoke non-profit status FOR ALL Religions.

    Posted by: KsBrian | Feb 6, 2013 3:10:31 PM

  3. As others have pointed out, revoking tax exempt status for the LDS and RCC for political or undeclared lobbyist financing may have been their major threat. I suspect this three month breathing space has something to do with manoeuvring around that, and this might be the best time to lodge a complaint with the IRS. In three months they may have figured out how to hide the money trail.

    By (my) odds, 6-8% of 7 year olds entering the BSA are subsequently going to be subject to child abuse - being attacked about their sexuality during formative years. This is serious.

    So, can anyone lodge a complaint with the IRS or should it just be everyone?

    Posted by: rdiac | Feb 6, 2013 3:30:15 PM

  4. Well, Scouting has definitely jumped the shark. Instead of being in the middle as far as accepting of equality, looks like they're going to be in the very last group, and be dragged screaming and kicking under threat of loss of corporate sponsorship. Look how long it took for the Mormon church to accept black people as a guide.

    Posted by: MikeH | Feb 6, 2013 4:05:58 PM

  5. The Boy Scouts used to discriminate against African American boys and youths and ended that completely only in 1974.

    It wasn't until 1978 that the Mormon Church allowed African Americans to hold their priesthood. They didn't believe in Adam's transgression (ie all people are going to hell for what Adam did unless they are baptized) yet they believed that 'blacks' were accountable for the sins of their people more recently. The Mormon church is calling the shots on this one. And they are going to look more and more ridiculous the longer they hold out. Let gays into the Scouts.

    Posted by: ZT | Feb 6, 2013 4:26:45 PM

  6. My grandfather was awarded the Silver Beaver from the Boy Scouts back in the 1940's. It's their highest recognition given to those who provide selflessly their time, energy and service to the BSA. Helping it grow and instil solid life affirming values that stay with them for life. He believed in the organization so much that he gave much of his personal time starting up new troops all over Oregon. He was an Eagle Scout. My father and uncles were Eagle Scouts, as were my brothers and I. I know for a fact that if he were still here, he would be ashamed of the organization that he much of his life nurturing. Yes Duty to God is important, but we are also taught Duty to our country and citizenship in the world. Its hardly a coincidence that they have decided to postpone until May. DOMA and Prop 8 will be on trial. If they can piggy back on No vote for the LGBT community then they won't seem like the big bad, because they were just following the law of the land. Although as a private entity, they right their own bylaws and codes to live by. The LDS church has made it very clear that they are not commenting publicly, however their Friends of Scouting fund raising fell significantly short from years past. The church is feeling pressure from its membership to be inclusive and understanding. Its common knowledge though that the church filed a claim with the Supreme Court because of their involvement in Prop 8 fundraising. Their tax exempt status could be in question which could hurt them and Mitt Romney's tax shelters. Its flat out cowardice. They CANT make a decision until the courts rule so they then can see where they want to stand... with or without their financial backbone pushing on how they are going to vote.

    Posted by: Homo Momo No Mo | Feb 6, 2013 4:44:01 PM

  7. Well let them go ahead and let gays in scouts, but don't get mad if and when the Catholic and Mormon churches drop their backing to the point of the BSA virtually crumbling. If they keep the policy, they lose corporate sponsors...if they do away with it, they lose their fundamental support.

    Either way, the gay community has basically destroyed the scouts by forcing this issue, and my guess won't make up the difference if the BSA sides with them and the lose their religious backing (money.) If like a pro-lifer fighting tooth and nail to stop a woman from being able to have an abortion and not doing anything to support the baby they made her have.

    Posted by: Erick | Feb 6, 2013 6:26:25 PM

  8. "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

    "Honest" is missing, however.

    Posted by: anon | Feb 6, 2013 8:13:04 PM

  9. Their new motto: "A coward dies a thousand deaths; a brave man, only five hundred."

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 7, 2013 2:52:58 AM

  10. To paraphrase Lincoln: Can Boy Scout Nation endure half slave and half free?

    Posted by: Rich | Feb 7, 2013 5:01:04 AM

  11. What a PR Coup, can't sell your nasty popcorn so you string along the gays until cookie season is over.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Feb 7, 2013 8:21:32 AM

  12. Money, pure and simple. Money=influence=power=Nirvana(to them)(...and not the band). Piss off the LDS and, besides the Federal boost that keeps hem solvent, this is one of their major sources of influence...uhm, I mean funding.

    Posted by: Robert Seth Vorisek | Feb 7, 2013 11:50:51 AM

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