Boy Scout leaders vote to end ban on adult homos

Jul 14, 2015 by


A key Boy Scouts of America panel has approved lifting the ban on “open or avowed homosexuals” as BSA leaders and volunteers, and the final formal decision is expected before the end of the month.

The BSA announced Monday on its website that its National Executive Committee had unanimously adopted a resolution that would let adults lead Boy Scout troops without regard “to sexual orientation” if the local chartering organizations wish.

The BSA National Executive Board, a broader body than the executive committee, is widely expected to ratify the change at a July 27 meeting and have it take effect immediately.

The revised policy will both end the ban while respecting “the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own,” the BSA said.

BSA National President Robert Gates virtually spelled out the change in a speech in May, saying that “rapid changes in society” and “increasing legal challenges” made the BSA’s adult membership policy unsustainable.

Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality, a group formed to overturn the BSA’s ban on homosexual adults, said the latest move was “not perfect,” but carried importance that was “difficult to overstate.”

The vote “hopefully marks the beginning of the end of the Boy Scouts of America’s decades-old ban on gay leaders and parents, like my two moms,” Mr. Wahls said, noting that the hiring of Pascal Tessier, an openly gay Eagle Scout from Maryland by a major New York BSA council, helped make it clear that the ban on gay adults could not stand.

The BSA’s background information about the new resolution emphasizes the group’s commitment to religious freedom and its core values about reverence to God and duty to country.

It also carried a reminder that “any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual,” by youth of Scouting age “is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”

It mentions hiring gay adult leaders, but doesn’t specifically talk about bisexual or transgender adults.

However, the background material states that local organizations can hire who they wish.

The BSA “affirms that sexual relations between adults should be moral, honorable, committed, and respectful. Adult Scout leaders should reflect these values in their personal and public lives so as to be proper role models for youth. The Boy Scouts of America affirms the right of each chartering organization to reach its own religious and moral conclusions about the specific meaning and application of these values,” the background material said.

Initial reactions ranged from approval to a warning that the BSA still hasn’t gone far enough.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had more than 400,000 youth in Scouting in 2010, said Monday it “has always had the right to select Scout leaders who adhere to moral and religious principles that are consistent with our doctrines and beliefs.”

“Any resolution adopted by the Boy Scouts of America regarding leadership in the Scouting must continue to affirm that right,” said the LDS Church, which has previously stressed that Scouting “exists to serve and benefit youth, rather than Scout leaders,” and that a “single standard of moral purity” is expected for youth as well as emphasis “for Scouts to honor their duty to God.”

Source: Boy Scout leaders vote to end ban on adult homosexuals – Washington Times

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