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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.


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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  1. There are probably as many closeted gay male Boy Scout leaders as their are closeted gay Catholic priests. And thats a whole lot. Yep, MANY!

    Posted by: andrew | Apr 20, 2013 5:42:59 PM

  2. @Jake: I'll bet you'll find that this "solution" is the one that maximizes the bottom line. A national organization typically gets income based on the size of the membership. They don't want to lose members, whether liberal or conservative. They are hoping that their compromise will satisfy liberals enough to avoid a mass exodus while not angering conservatives so much that they start a mass exodus. Also, not discriminating against members (i.e., children) might make it easier to keep freebies that they are now losing due to discrimination.

    Posted by: Bill | Apr 20, 2013 5:52:33 PM

  3. This ticked me off! And I'm pretty reasonable when it comes to being understanding of the "straight world".
    Should we also ban straight men from coaching, teaching, or leading young women? After all, the number of abused young girls in the world by straight men outnumbers the entire gay population including, "gay" pedophiles.

    The whole thing is an insult and just makes me sick. Yet, I have to remind myself, it's just fear and ignorance.
    If only more people understood that the majority of adults, gay or straight, are ALL on the same page when it comes to keeping all children safe from the real perverts of the world!

    Posted by: John | Apr 21, 2013 12:54:31 AM

  4. This "compromise" is hollow: what parent is going to entrust their son to an organization that says they aren't worthy of helping?

    Posted by: Rich | Apr 22, 2013 3:15:32 AM

  5. To those who have pointed out the weird position that the BS of A now finds themselves in, I wrote an article on that very point where it points out several contradictions in this proposed policy change that has not even been voted on yet. Strangely, the religious conservatives that drive the hypocrisy and homophobia of the BS of A have not noticed that the Islamic Society of America is involved with scouts and even an endorser.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that, but those religious driven homophobes are usually the same ones blathering about Muslims as much as they do about gay rights.

    Hypocrisy in living color...

    Posted by: Michael Hess | Apr 23, 2013 10:19:24 PM

  6. It's the DADT of the new 2010s.

    Posted by: Marc C | Apr 26, 2013 9:02:12 PM

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