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Boy Scouts President Robert Gates Says Gay Adult Ban Could Be Lifted By October

In a new interview with NPR, Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates provides a timetable for when his organization will make a decision on whether to lift its ban on gay adults:

Gates"I think that we will have a decision not later than October, but so far there has been no change. We need to reach out to our sponsoring institutions and talk with them about the potential change. We need to talk with donors and others so there's a process to be gone through here, but I think that it's inevitable that we have to change the policy and that's what I recommended, and we'll see as I say not later than October if the rest of the movement is in agreement with the position. But I think that change is the right thing for our movement."

Gates adds that his approach would allow religious-sponsored Scout units to continue banning gay adults.

"There would be a First Amendment protection for their right to do so, but from the National Council's standpoint gays would be permitted in units that want to have them," Gates said.

NPR notes some 70 percent of Scout units are sponsored by churches.


Bryan Fischer: Boy Scouts Will Become 'Gay Pedophile Scouting for Boys' If Ban on Gay Adults is Lifted: VIDEO

Fischer

Following in the footsteps of evangelical leader Franklin Graham, former American Family Association spokeshater Bryan Fischer warned on his radio program of the "moral catastrophe" should the Boy Scouts of America end its ban on gay leaders as BSA president Robert Gates urged this week

Said Fischer:

We know there's a high degree of correlation between homosexuality and pedophilia. Now the world out there doesn't know that...it's no longer going to be 'Boy Scouts of America,' it's going to be 'Gay Pedophiles Scouting for Boys'

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Yesterday, Fischer came of the aid of fellow anti-gay hater Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council in the wake of FRC leader and admitted child molester Josh Duggar's resignation. 

Wrote Fischer:

Perkins[Perkins] certainly is not to blame for what a teenage boy did 13 years ago, and not to blame for only finding out about it yesterday. He can only be faulted if he had failed to act with wisdom and strength when the news broke. 

But Mr. Perkins acted in accordance with FRC’s values in dealing with this situation just as he does when dealing with legislation on Capitol Hill. There’s no hypocrisy here whatsoever. Instead, what we see is fidelity to FRC’s abiding principles, and a commitment to apply those principles without partiality. 

Certainly Mr. Perkins should have had this information at the time the hiring decision was made. Why he didn’t is a matter for another day, but in point of fact he didn’t have it, and when he did get it, he acted quickly and correctly. 

The public revelations of what happened over a decade ago will certainly rock the Duggar family for years to come and will unsettle the folks at FRC and in the larger pro-family community for a time. But whatever failures led to this, none of them can be laid at Tony Perkins’ feet. 

Heartbreaking? Yes. Hypocritical? Absolutely not.

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Franklin Graham: Boy Scouts President 'Put Young, Innocent Boys at Risk' Calling for End to Gay Adult Ban

Graham

Franklin Graham, son of anti-gay evangelical leader Billy Graham, is speaking out against Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates and his call for the BSA to end its ban on gay adult leaders.

Wrote Graham on Facebook

Robert Gates, shame on you for not having the moral courage to do what is right. Yesterday Gates, the president of Boy...

Posted by Franklin Graham on Friday, May 22, 2015

Souther Baptist Convention spokesman Roger "Sing" Oldham has also spoken out against Gates' announcement, saying the Boy Scouts "have planted the seed of their eventual destruction.”


Girl Scouts Will Now Welcome Transgender Girls

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 3.38.59 PM

The Girl Scouts of America announced a change to one of their policies that now allows transgender kids to become members. A guest post on GSUSA's website, titled "The Meaning of 'Serving All Girls,'" from Andrea Bastiani Archibald confirmed the bold new direction the organization is taking in fostering diversity:

"The foundation of diversity that Juliette Gordon Low established runs throughout Girl Scouting to this day. Our mission to build "girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place" extends to all members, and through our program, girls develop the necessary leadership skills to advance diversity and promote tolerance.

"If a girl is recognized by her family, school and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe. Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case by case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority."

The Boy Scouts of America continue to lag behind their progressive sisters as bans against gay male troop leaders still exist. However, BSA President Robert Gates called for the organization to repeal the discriminatory ban today at a meeting with the organization's leadership.


Boy Scouts Leader Robert Gates Calls for End to Ban on Gay Adults: READ

In remarks prepared for a meeting of Boy Scouts of America leadership today, BSA president and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates called on the organization to drop its ban on gay adult leaders, Buzzfeed reports:

GatesGates was at the helm of the Pentagon at the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and is now leading the Boy Scouts as it addresses its ban on gay members. In 2013, the scouts ended its ban on gay youth members but maintained its ban on gay adult leaders.

According to his prepared remarks, Gates said that “events during the past year have confronted us with urgent challenges I did not foresee and which we cannot ignore.” 

Gates stated that the BSA must acknowledge that local councils are already "in open defiance" of the ban, citing the Greater New York Council as an example. Last month, the council hired openly gay 18-year-old Pascal Tessier to serve as a leader at its scout camp this summer. 

Gates continued:

BsaNor can we ignore the social, political and juridicial changes taking place in our country - changes taking place at a pace over this past year no one anticipated. I remind you of the recent debates we have seen in places like Indiana and Arkansas over discrimination based on sexual orientation, not to mention the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer on gay marriage. 

I am not asking the national board for any action to change our current policy at this meeting. But I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was director of CIA and Secretary of Defense. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained.

We can expect more councils to openly challenge the current policy. While technically we have the authority to revoke their charters, such an action would deny the lifelong benefits of scouting to hundreds of thousands of boys and young men today and vastly more in the future. I will not take that path.  

Read Gates full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, reacted positively to the news.

“Dr. Gates has built his reputation on straight talk, and I’m glad he’s fully endorsing a re-evaluation of the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adults,” he said in a statement. “It seems like the Boy Scouts will continue an internal dialogue about the subject and that a full vote within the next year or two is imminent.”

Developing...

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Will The Boy Scouts Of America Reconsider Its Ban On Gay Adult Leaders Later This Month?

Peffly

Following the ouster of yet another gay adult leader, LGBT advocates say they're hopeful the Boy Scouts of America will reconsider the ban at its upcoming national meeting later this month.  

Brian Peffly, 35, is an Eagle Scout who served as assistant volunteer Scoutmaster for a troop in suburban Columbus, Ohio. Peffly outed himself as gay in a TV interview in April 2014 about the Boy Scouts' decision to remove openly gay Seattle troop leader Geoff McGrath. In September, Peffly's local council adopted a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation. But in March, Peffly received a voicemail and letter from the national office saying he was being removed for unspecified reasons, according to Cleveland.com

"Due to issues with your ability to comply with some of our rules and regulations, we're going to have to be revoking your registration in the Boy Scouts," Steve McGowan, general counsel for Boy Scouts of America, said in the message.

A subsequent letter from McGowan didn't elaborate.

"As I indicated in my phone message, when someone states they do not comply with policies of the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of the topic, they may no longer be considered for a volunteer adult leadership position in the organization."

The BSA lifted its ban on gay youth in 2013 but continues to bar gay adult leaders. However, the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts recently hired an openly gay man to serve as youth leader. Meanwhile, the New York attorney general's office has launched an investigation into whether the Boy Scouts' employment practices violate the state's ban on anti-gay job discrimination. Ohio has no such law. 

WahlsZach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, called the BSA's decision to remove Peffly without telling him why cowardly, according to The Columbus Dispatch. But Wahls said he hopes cases like Peffly's will prompt the BSA to reconsider the policy at its upcoming meeting in Atlanta. From Cleveland.com

"There's a real possibility that it could enter the conversation," Wahls said. "We think that is increasingly likely, given what happened up in New York, given Brian's situation. This is clearly not going away. ... 

"If they wait until they have no other option, there is no honor in doing the right thing and this will further tarnish all that scouting stands for," he said.

Watch a report on Peffly's ouster from WBNS-10TV, AFTER THE JUMP ...

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