Boy Scouts of America Lift Ban on Gay Scouts

In a vote yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America lifted their long-standing ban on gay/bi scouts. But they stopped short of lifting the ban on gay/bi adult Scout leaders.
The decision, which came after years of resistance and wrenching internal debate, was widely seen as a milestone for the Boy Scouts, a symbol of traditional America. More than 1,400 volunteer leaders from across the country voted, with more than 60 percent approving a measure that said no youth may be denied membership "on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."

... The Scouts did not consider the even more divisive question of whether to allow openly gay adults and leaders. This drew criticism from advocates for gay rights, who called the decision a breakthrough but vowed to continue pressing the Scouts to allow gay members of all ages.

Some conservative churches and parents said the Scouts were violating their oath to be "morally straight" and said they would drop out.
Ha ha BYE.

Wayne Brock, the chief executive of the BCA, says the new policy, which takes effect in January of next year, "is not about what's legal but what's compassionate, caring, and kind." Which probably wouldn't sound quite so hollow if the Scouts weren't refusing to be "compassionate, caring, and kind" to the gay/bi adult members of their organization.

Although for many of the voting members, their support of the new policy might well have been about meaningful inclusion because it's right, the leadership of the Scouts knew that they had to make some concession for gay/bi Scouts if they didn't want to lose their corporate funding: "Several sponsors, including the UPS Foundation, Merck, the Intel Foundation, and many local United Ways and city agencies had already ended financing for the Scouts because the group's policies violated their own nondiscrimination guidelines."

Funny how suddenly compassionate the Boy Scouts' leadership got when they started hemorrhaging financial sponsors.

In any case, my congratulations to the gay/bi Scouts who have fought for inclusion for many, many years. And my condolences to the gay/bi adult Scout leaders who are still waiting for the right to participate without enforced secrecy.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus