Boy Scouts | News

Boy Scouts Look Set to End Ban on Gay Scouts But Not Gay Leaders

The Boy Scouts appear set to end their ban on gay scouts, Reuters reports:

BsaIf the vote is approved, "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," Deron Smith, the organization's spokesman, told Reuters.

Smith noted that the decision drew from three months of research, surveys and discussions and was "among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today."

The AP writes:

Under pressure over its longstanding ban on gays, the Boys Scouts of America is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.

The Scouts announced Friday that it would submit this proposal to the roughly 1,400 voting members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.

The resolution must still be ratified by the organization's board in May.

UPDATE:

TyrrellJennifer Tyrrell, lesbian Scout leader ousted as her 7 year-old son's den leader via letter on April 17, 2012, released this statement today:

"One year after sending a letter ousting me as my son's leader, the Boy Scouts are once again forcing me to look my children in the eyes and tell them that our family isn't good enough," said Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell. "My heart goes out to the young adults in Scouting who would be able to continue as scouts if this is passed, but then be thrown out when they reach the age to become leaders."

GLAAD added:

"Yet again, the Boy Scouts of America has failed its members, corporate sponsors, donors and the millions of Americans who agree that the time to end discrimination in Scouting is now," said Rich Ferraro, Vice President of Communications at GLAAD. "By refusing to consider an end to its ban on gay and lesbian parents, the Boy Scouts have missed an opportunity to exercise leadership and usher the organization back to relevancy. We're living in a culture where, until every parent and young person have the same opportunity to serve, the Boy Scouts will continue to see a decline in both membership and donations."

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Comments

  1. And there's the pedophile angle, rearing it's ugly head.

    Posted by: Leo | Apr 19, 2013 11:44:49 AM


  2. IT is amazing they are even considering lifting either ban. BSA is an extremely conservative organization largely supported and hosted by Mormons and Southern Baptists.

    Posted by: Jake | Apr 19, 2013 11:45:45 AM


  3. So transparent and offensive...

    Posted by: Leo | Apr 19, 2013 11:46:15 AM


  4. oh... that's bad.
    sends a very bad message to gay kids who want to be scouts: "you are going to grow up to be someone who isn't valuable and isn't welcome here."

    Posted by: woody | Apr 19, 2013 11:49:50 AM


  5. Wow, leave it to the Boy Scouts to come up with the ONE solution that is more offensive than the original problem. Now they want to let gay kids in while they continue to promote the idea that gay adult males are pedophiles. That's a very unhealthy environment for gay boys.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Apr 19, 2013 11:52:19 AM


  6. Honestly, this is offensive. It's really not acceptable whatsoever. They're still saying, categorically, being gay is wrong and that being gay is not ideal, and non-heterosexual men are unfit to be leaders and be around children because we're a threat. So non-heterosexual boys in the Scouts are still going to be receiving the message that there is something wrong with them, and that gay men aren't anything to look up to.

    Also even if the Scouts do lift the ban on gay kids, that doesn't necessarily mean the atmosphere is going to be a healthy one for these children. It almost assuredly wont be.

    Oh well, we shouldn't have expected much more than this. Forever a backwards organization.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 19, 2013 11:53:18 AM


  7. Probably not a bad baby step for such a conservative group. Kind of surprising actually. Yet banning gay leaders sends a terrible message to any gay scouts as well as everyone else. As long as the ban remains against either I'd say efforts should continue to boycott the BSA and end all public subsidies of this group. They have the right to discriminate as they please bein a private organization, but not on my dime.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Apr 19, 2013 11:58:24 AM


  8. How about str8 acting gay scout leaders? What morons.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Apr 19, 2013 11:58:56 AM


  9. oh yeah, that'll clear everything up ... pff ...

    Posted by: Glenn I | Apr 19, 2013 11:59:20 AM


  10. How very, very, very interesting that this is the exact same dynamic (i.e., "we'll let them belong but they can't be leaders")that the Mormons had towards blacks until they started to get their a** sued back in the 1970s.

    The leadership of the LDS church (which is a huge force in the BSA today) always seems to be entrenched in bigotry; they just seem to move their loathsome behavior toward one minority group to another.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Apr 19, 2013 12:09:24 PM


  11. That's a tough one. In the long run, of course, the hypocrisy can't hold up. On the other hand, if the only way they can go the whole way is to split in two, that's hard to say no to. Perhaps the then openly gay scouts can mobilize within the ranks and force it the rest of the way open.

    Posted by: Jack | Apr 19, 2013 12:09:52 PM


  12. They probably imagine that heterosexual, religious (especially Mormon) scoutmasters can exert influence on gay kids as well as non-religious kids to become heterosexual Mormons, but that a gay leader (as well as an atheist or agnostic leader) could influence the kids in the "wrong" way.
    Obviously, nobody can influence anyone to be gay or not to be gay, but I think too many of them are not bright enough to understand that.
    They may HOPE that the kids (including the gay kids) can grow up to see gays as monsters (or at least "losers"), and that would be harder with a sympathetic or gay scoutmaster who might prove the notion wrong.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 19, 2013 12:10:04 PM


  13. They probably imagine that heterosexual, religious (especially Mormon) scoutmasters can exert influence on gay kids as well as non-religious kids to become heterosexual Mormons, but that a gay leader (as well as an atheist or agnostic leader) could influence the kids in the "wrong" way.
    Obviously, nobody can influence anyone to be gay or not to be gay, but I think too many of them are not bright enough to understand that.
    They may HOPE that the kids (including the gay kids) can grow up to see gays as monsters (or at least "losers"), and that would be harder with a sympathetic or gay scoutmaster who might prove the notion wrong.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 19, 2013 12:10:05 PM


  14. Wow, way to do things in the worst way possible Boy Scouts. This still has to pass the 1400 member council so that is extremely iffy. Plus, gay parents still can't participate. Worst of all, now corporate sponsors will probably start giving again thinking the ban will be gone.

    Posted by: KT | Apr 19, 2013 12:15:19 PM


  15. Wow, way to do things in the worst way possible Boy Scouts. This still has to pass the 1400 member council so that is extremely iffy. Plus, gay parents still can't participate. Worst of all, now corporate sponsors will probably start giving again thinking the ban will be gone.

    Posted by: KT | Apr 19, 2013 12:15:24 PM


  16. This change continues to perpetuate the bigotry and ignorance linking homosexuality with pedophilia. It's a form of bullying and it promotes bullying.

    Imagine being a gay kid in a camp full of heterosexual kids and troop leaders who are told that they are superior to gays. How stupid are BSA? No one should trust their kids under their care.

    Posted by: Andrew | Apr 19, 2013 12:18:29 PM


  17. I think anything that PO's Bryan Fischer is probably a positive thing. Not the best, however.

    Posted by: Charlie | Apr 19, 2013 12:25:26 PM


  18. So none of the gay youth they let in can ever become scout leaders...? F*ck them!

    Posted by: pedro | Apr 19, 2013 12:36:28 PM


  19. What research? Every accredited study actually proves homosexual men are less likely to molest boys.

    What survey? Most people want the ban lifted.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 19, 2013 12:38:17 PM


  20. What research? Every accredited study actually proves homosexual men are less likely to molest boys.

    What survey? Most people want the ban lifted.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 19, 2013 12:38:18 PM


  21. What research? Every accredited study actually proves homosexual men are less likely to molest boys.

    What survey? Most people want the ban lifted.

    Posted by: Michael | Apr 19, 2013 12:38:18 PM


  22. It's all or nothing, BSA. You can't cut homophobia with a knife and think it's acceptable. This new policy is NOT going to work for the GLBT community.

    Posted by: HadenoughBS | Apr 19, 2013 12:38:54 PM


  23. Apart from the absurdity and offensiveness of barring gay adult leaders, the statement of the new rule is still a problem even for youths, as it says "on the basis of sexual orientation or preference ALONE". There is no reason to include the word "alone" here unless they are allowing themselves the option to exclude members based on a combination of sexual orientation and one or more other factors. Which is also offensive. "Alone" does not belong here.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 19, 2013 12:51:57 PM


  24. They are just causing more problems for themselves.

    Posted by: Anthony | Apr 19, 2013 12:53:47 PM


  25. Fail. Total. Fail. It is hard to believe that they could actually come-up with a solution that is probably worse than the one they are in. The message this sends to young potential scouts -- all of them, but especially GLBT ones -- is disgusting. This is an insult.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Apr 19, 2013 12:56:41 PM


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