This week the National Executive Council of the Boys Scouts of America are continuing discussions on dropping the ban on gay scouts and gay troop leaders. Over 1.4 million people have signed the petition urging the organization to change their controversial and discriminatory practice.
It’s not just the public that is outraged. United States President Barack Obama and Eagle Scouts – Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon – LGBT leaders, and corporate partners are also asking for an end to the outdated policy.
“With LGBT people more visible and more triumphant than at any other point in our community’s history, the timing is right for the Boy Scouts to finally embrace gay scouts and gay troop leadership and put an end to this shameful policy,” said Rodney Scott, Board President of Christopher Street West. “Christopher Street West produced the world’s first LGBT Pride Parade in 1970 and this type of discrimination is precisely what compelled us to organize. We wanted equality in employment, education, housing and parity when it came to our relationships. Now, for gay youth and their families, we want equality in scouting.”
The Boy Scouts of America have been delivering programming including character development and value-based leadership training for over 100 years.
“Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” explained Deron Smith, Director of Public Relations for Boy Scouts of America. “This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.”
While the Boy Scouts of America would not dictate a position to units, members of parents, the policy would not require chartered organizations to act in ways inconsistent with the principles, mission or religious beliefs.
In other words, the individual organizations the oversee and deliver programming would determine how to address the situation.
It’s expected that the National Executive Council for the Boy Scouts of America will take up the issue today, Wednesday, February 5, 2013, and potentially vote on policy.
What do you think of The Boy Scouts of America policy banning gay scouts and troop leaders? Sound off now. Leave a comment on this blog post.