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Boy Scouts of America: After Careful Consideration, Still Discriminating Against Gays

Boy Scouts of America: After Careful Consideration, Still Discriminating Against Gays


After two years of reviewing the membership policies of the organization, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed the decision to ban any openly gay members from entering or remaining in the organization on Tuesday. The decision was reached by a small committee, whose members the BSA did not openly identify.

The decision was made by an 11-member committee, which made a unanimous vote to keep the current policy in place, NPR reports.

The BSA released a full statement regarding the decision on Tuesday:

The BSA policy is: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.

The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.

The Boy Scouts of America have faced tough criticism over the last decade as LGBT activists have called for changes after the Supreme Court ruled that the BSA could maintain its anti-gay policy. The newest policy review came in the wake of multiple protests about the BSA’s elective membership policies. One Ohio den mother was barred from serving in the BSA because it was discovered she was a lesbian.

Critics of the ban argue that the Boy Scouts of America is sending the wrong messages. Rather than remaining an inclusive organization that draws in a wide variety of people for participation, the ban reenforces the idea that only certain types of people are suited to the BSA. Although the organization claims that issues of sexuality should be addressed in more personal space, this ban reaches much further than home territory. The phrase which states that the BSA does not grant membership to those “who engage in behavior that would become a distraction” remains a vague but outright way to ban certain individuals from participating in the organization.

Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign is quoted by the Associated Press as saying, “They’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”

Defenders of the BSA claim that the majority of parents and supporters in the Boys Scouts of America agree with the ban. Now that the BSA has announced the newest decision, leaders have stated that no further consideration of membership policies will follow.


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Photo Credit: Flickr: Boy Scouts

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12:55PM PDT on Jul 28, 2015

Petition signed.

6:06AM PDT on Jul 22, 2012

Dear Pamela,
"Seperate but equal" was overturned by the civil rights laws. When you have organizations like the boy scouts, the mormon church, and various other private organizations that believe and promote this kind of discrimination, you are teaching hate and bigotry.

10:19PM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

Attn Thomas:
The "flag as inappropriate" is up there so you or any Care2 member can flag an inappropriate comment if need be. Also there is a link for send green stars which means you especially like what the person has to say.
Hope this info helped.

1:45AM PDT on Jul 21, 2012

@ Annelies, why don't you read the Bible yourself and stop going by what "everybody" says. We will all be held accountable for ourself anyway, so might as well do your homework and read the B-I-B-L-E. To answer your question...No Jesus was not gay. He is God manifested in the flesh and has no fleshly desire. It doesn't matter what our opinions on the subject are. If anyone reads the Bible, it clearly answers that question.

5:26PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

From the BSA's scout law: "On my honor I will do my keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." From the BSA website: "Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty."

Encouraging dishonesty about ones sexuality is contrary to everything the BSA claims to stand for.

You could shrug and say why bother trying to change a conservative organisation's stance on gays, it's their decision. But it's an insult to Baden-Powell and every other scout on the planet. I don't think anyone should stand for it. Intolerance should not be tolerated.

1:56PM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Pamela T.

Cool idea. Maybe it would be called the Rainbow Scouts of America. As in "we take anybody".

Trying to force a conservative organization to change is a waste of effort. Just provide an alternative, for those parents who want their kids to grow up unbent...

3:09AM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

Lynne - Why do you refer to that policy as "outdated"? Do convictions come with a "Use-by-Date" stamped on them?

1:32AM PDT on Jul 20, 2012

A very sad decision. There is no evidence of 'careful consideration' in this decision. It continues to promote bigotry and homophobia. They prefer dishonesty to an individual being open and honest about their sexual preferences. I wouldn't allow a child of mine to belong to a group that doesn't believe in equality, tolerance and the acceptance of all children as individuals. They should be ashamed of themselves and their outdated policy.

9:29PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Pamela - ... "defeating the purpose " ? What is the purpose? Tell us honestly!

12:55PM PDT on Jul 19, 2012

Minority groups have often been stereotyped as representing a danger to the majority's most vulnerable members. Jews in the Middle Ages were accused of murdering Christian babies in ritual sacrifices. Black men in the United States were often lynched after being falsely accused of raping White women. In recent years, antigay activists and the Christian Right have often asserted that gay people are child molesters. They have even published these lies.

Elaine rather than just listening to the right-wing propaganda on this subject you might show the intelligence you profess to have by looking up scientific and national police statistics which clearly show that the majority of pedophiles are straight white men, many are married to hide their desires. Pedophiles are NOT attracted to adults of either sex they are attracted to only children and science does not know why.

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