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Boy Scouts Consider an End to Ban on Gay Leaders, Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America affirmed its ban on gay scouts and leaders in July of 2012.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America has told USA Today that the organization may announce a change to its policy on gay scouts and leaders as early as next week.

The spokesperson said BSA would allow gay scouts and troop leaders, which is an about face for the organization.

"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," BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA Today.

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In July 2012, the Boy Scouts of America confirmed its ban of gays from the organization. The longtime ban, which was reaffirmed after a two-year review, banned gay boys from being Boy Scouts and gay adults from serving as troop leaders.

According to The New York Times, the decision came after years of debate. In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld 5-4 the right of the Boy Scouts to expel a gay assistant scoutmaster, saying that as a private organization, it had the right to decide what values it wanted to inculcate.

The proposed new policy would leave decisions on membership and leadership up to the Scouts' 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civic groups.

Smith told USA Today:

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. 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.

Do you support or oppose the Boy Scouts' decision to change course on its ban of gay scouts and leaders?

Join Diaspora January 29, 2013 at 12:26 PM
FYI - http://OutScouts.com - the social network for gay scouts, is providing a supportive environment for gay scouts, leaders and supporters. Brought to you by the creators of OutMilitary.com - the gay military network.
Calvin January 29, 2013 at 01:09 PM
As a former eagle scout I am ashamed that the Boy Scouts would even consider inviting these perverts and pedophiles near children. I think gays are sick and I'm also sure that many parents feel as I do.
Michele January 29, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Actually I'm more ashamed that someone who was a *former* Eagle Scout would even speak that way a out another human being. I believe some of the core values in Scouting are compassion~ being kind and considerate and showing concern for the well being of others. Respect~ showing regard for the worth of someone. I don't believe God discriminates based on the sexuality of someone. We're ALL Gods children.
dolph watts January 29, 2013 at 04:09 PM
while I (a former eagle scout) see no reason to ban gays from scouting and I certainly see no statistical correlation between pedophiles and openly gay individuals, I wonder how this will play in rural and 'flyover' America where scouting still holds some strong support. I hope that scouting can survive the unfair, but natural reaction of parents deciding that 'maybe their son isn't really available that weekend to go camping' when the scout leader isn't what they envision.
Ashley January 30, 2013 at 07:05 PM
Here is my problem, people are equating being a pedophile with being gay. They don't go hand in hand. These individuals that victimized these children don't always identify as being gay. So banning gay individuals is very prejudicial. Being gay doesn't mean you are perverted. And being a gay man doesn't mean you want every man in your path. Grow up folks.

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