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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.


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

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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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Tuesday Speed Read: Jared Polis, Annise Parker, South Dakota, Robert Gates, Boy Scouts, Nevada, Kentucky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PolisLOG CABIN ADS ATTACK JARED POLIS:

The national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans has aired three “attack ads” against openly gay U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. According to a report in the Denver Post, the latest ad mocks Polis’ personal wealth to say he’s out of touch with the average Coloradoan when he opposes natural gas development in the state, thus denying thousands of jobs and affordable heating. In retort, Polis teased the group about the perception that it has relatively few members to support such attack ads: “Oh, did all three of them chip in?”

ORDINANCE FOES THREATEN RECALL:

Opponents of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Houston have threatened to organize a recall election against Mayor Annise Parker and other supporters of the bill. They have also threatened a referendum on the measure should it pass Wednesday, reports KHOU-TV.

SouthdakotaSOUTH DAKOTA GETS LAWSUIT:

Six same-sex couples in South Dakota filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sioux Falls, reducing to just one (North Dakota) the number of states which still have bans on same-sex couples marrying but no lawsuit challenging that ban. The South Dakota lawsuit is Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

NINTH CIRCUIT MOVES ON NEVADA CASE:

In an order issued May 23, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced it would hold oral arguments in September for Sevcik v. Sandoval, a Lambda Legal case challenging Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ninth Circuit will also hear Latta v. Otter, concerning Idaho’s ban, the week of September 8.

GatesAVOIDING BOY SCOUT FRACTURE:

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates was installed as president of the national Boy Scouts of America organization May 22 and, in an interview the next day with Associated Press, said he would have gone further than the BSA did last fall when it voted to end its policy of barring gay scouts. “"I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters,” said Gates. But Gates said he would not re-open the question with the membership at this time because he believes it would “irreparably fracture” the organization.

McconnellMcCONNELL OPPONENT WALKING A LINE:

In last Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats in Kentucky chose business attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes to go up against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in November. McConnell has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues. When asked point blank by a group of Kentucky farmers whether she supports same-sex marriage, Grimes clearly tried to find position somewhere between being “for” or “against” them. According to the Herald-Leader, Grimes said: “I want to be honest  … my husband and I have been married seven years, and the Supreme Court has already determined in my view and decided this issue, and … I think that if I’ve been committed then others should be able to have that same commitment. But the Supreme Court --they’ve already ruled on this, it’s a state sovereign issue, and here in the state of Kentucky we already have a constitutional amendment.”

MICHELLE NUNN WALKING THE SAME LINE: U.S.

Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, is walking that same delicate line on same-sex marriage in Georgia. She has said she supports the right of same-sex couples to marry but believes the decision about who can marry should be left to the states.
© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Boy Scouts President Robert Gates Would've Welcomed Gay Adults, Doesn't Want to Reopen Issue Now

Robert gatesFormer Secretary of Defense and newly elected Boy Scouts of America president Robert Gates said in an interview on Friday that he would have pushed for openly gay adults to be allowed the organization had he been in charge when BSA leadership made the controversial decision to end its ban on openly gay youth (but not gay adults) last year. 

"I was prepared to go further than the decision that was made," Gates told The Associated Press in an interview in advance of a speech before the group's national leaders at its annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. "I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters, but at the same time, I fully accept the decision that was democratically arrived at by 1,500 volunteers from across the entire country.

Gates, who oversaw the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in 2011, sees welcoming gay youth into Scouting as an important step forward - but said he opposes any further attempts to address the policy now.

"Given the strong feelings — the passion — involved on both sides of this matter, I believe strongly that to re-open the membership issue or try to take last year's decision to the next step would irreparably fracture and perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement — with the high likelihood neither side would subsequently survive on its own," Gates said in prepared remarks.

A handful of anti-gay conservatives who opposed the inclusion of openly gay boys have already started their own Mike Huckabee-approved scouting alternative: Trail Life USA.


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