Boy Scouts Board Will Consider Lifting National Anti-Gay Ban Next Week

Written by Josh Israel

Days after forcing a Cub Scout pack to drop a non-discrimination policy that included sexual orientation — and just six months after a full-throated reaffirmation of the policy — the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) board is apparently considering dropping its nationwide policy of discrimination.

Deron Smith, national spokesman for the BSA told ThinkProgress that the national board will make any decision, “at the appropriate time,” but confirmed that they “anticipate discussion on the matter at the National Executive Board at the next regularly scheduled board meeting the week of Feb. 4.” The board’s meetings are not open to the public or press.

Smith’s initial statement on the potential U-turn, first reported by NBC News, stated:

Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve. Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. 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.

The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, founder of Scouts for Equality, told ThinkProgress that such a change would be “an incredible step forward in the right direction.”

But it remains to be seen whether consideration will mean action. Last June, the Associated Press reported that the organization had agreed to consider such a change in 2013, but weeks later the BSA announced it had ended its consideration and that a secret committee had unanimously decided to keep the ban in place.

Over the past year, openly lesbian mom Jen Tyrrell was ousted from her position as Cub Scout Den Leader, 17-year-old Eric Jones was fired from his job at a Scout Camp for being gay, and openly gay Scout Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Scout award for his “avowed homosexuality.”

In their 2012 presidential campaign, both former BSA national board member Mitt Romney and honorary BSA president Barack Obama agreed that BSA should end its policy of discrimination.

This post was originally published by ThinkProgress.


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Photo: stevejb68/flickr


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

very bad idea

Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

There is no logical reason why non Christians should be restricted. According to the religion unsaved people are still unsaved no matter how good they are.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

Call me Mr. Spock but it just isn't logical that Christians would do it, or allow those that do to infiltrate the pack. No one likes a Trojan virus in Christ.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

If the morality is Bible based then the homosexuals are SOL. The Buble's function is a. To define a set of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors for Christians and by implication b. Say what God wishes everyone would choose to do. As the Bible clearly condemns certain behavior, Christians just can't go there without being hypocrites. Unless the pack is totally devoid of Judeo Christianity or Islam, i.e. atheist, I just can't logically see it happening.

So do they have atheist Scouts or not?

Darryll Green
Darryll Green3 years ago

Winn, sorry, homosexuality is not compatable with the moral code of scouts

Original Message:

Winn left a comment on the following article:

Boy Scouts Board Will Consider Lifting National Anti-Gay Ban Next Week
Whats to consider. Lift the damn ban.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

I show 876 points

Mary B.
Mary B.3 years ago

Christopher M.....Nope.....your profile says you have almost 25,000......Hmmmmm.....

Heather G.
Heather G.3 years ago

Darryll G, what does "condomes" mean?? Were you trying to say "condone"?? That means to forgive, excuse or overlook something.

Vicky H.
Past Member 3 years ago


Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

R u sure? I should have under two hundred points.