Boy Scouts propose ending gay ban

Under pressure over its long-standing ban on gays, the Boy Scouts of America is proposing to lift the ban for youth members but continue to exclude gays as adult leaders.
Associated Press
Apr 19, 2013

NEW YORK

The Scouts announced Friday that the proposal would be submitted to the roughly 1,400 voting members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20.

Gay-rights groups have demanded a complete lifting of the ban, while some churches and conservative groups want it maintained in its entirety, raising the likelihood that the new proposal will draw continued criticism from both sides.

Indeed, the BSA, in making its announcement, estimated that easing the ban on gay adults could cause widespread defections that cost the organization 100,000 to 350,000 members.

In January, the BSA said it was considering a plan to give local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders or continuing to exclude them.

On Friday, the BSA said it changed course in part because of surveys sent out starting in February to about 1 million members of the Scouting community.

The review, said a BSA statement, "created an outpouring of feedback" from 200,000 respondents, some supporting the exclusion policy and others favoring a change.

"While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting," the statement said.

As a result, the BSA's Executive Committee drafted a resolution proposing to remove the ban on gay youth while keeping it for all adult leaders.

"The proposed resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," the statement said.

The BSA described its survey as "the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history."

In a summary of the findings, it said respondents supported the BSA's current policy of excluding gays by a margin of 61 percent to 34 percent, while a majority of younger parents and teens opposed the policy.

It said overwhelming majorities of parents, teens and members of the Scouting community felt it would be unacceptable to deny an openly gay Scout an Eagle Scout Award solely because of his sexual orientation.

Included in the survey were dozens of churches and other religious organizations that sponsor a majority of Scout units.

The BSA said many of the religious organizations expressed concern over having gay adult leaders and were less concerned about gay youth members.

Many Scout units are sponsored by relatively conservative religious denominations that have supported the ban on gays in the past — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

The survey tried to gauge the proposal's impact on financial support. Local Scout councils said 51 percent of their major donors opposed easing the ban, while a majority of Fortune 500 companies supported a change.

Since January, the Scouts have come under intense pressure from activists and advocacy groups on both sides of the membership debate.

In Indiana, for example, there's an ongoing campaign demanding that the United Way withhold funding from the Scouts until the ban is lifted. In California, the state Senate is considering a bill aimed at pressuring the BSA to lift the ban by making the organization ineligible for nonprofit tax breaks.

On the other side, the conservative Family Research Council has been circulating an online petition urging the BSA to keep the ban. And in Utah, the Boy Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council — one of the largest in the country with 73,400 youth members — said a survey showed that more than 80 percent of its leaders opposed lifting the ban.

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Online:

Boy Scouts: http://www.scouting.org/

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Comments

grandmasgirl

What I don't understand about America and the way of life anymore is: why if you build something up, can't you make the rules yourself? I don't have anything against gays, or anyone else. I just think that Erie County Resident has it right. If you wanted to be a boy scout, then just be one. No one said you had to let everyone know that you were gay. I'm sure that the straight scouts didn't go around stating "Hey, I'm straight!" Call me a bigot, or whatever, I just don't understand why everyone has to make others see their point of view.

JACKEL

My life's dream would to be in a fox hole with two gay guys and two lesbians.Oh,with a hang over as well !

your master

Slowley America catches up with the rest of the world. I'm proud to be apart of BSA as of this day.

goofus

Oh boy gay Brownies and gay Girl Scout Cookies can't be far behind!!!!

goofus

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

Kottage Kat

Working to get their Brokeback mountain badge??
There are 2 Masonic lodges in sandusky
One Caucasian, one is not
do I think it is right, no I do not.
How do they teach moral principals when they " caved"

goofus

Kottage, had to bite my tongue in response to 44846 Grumpy White Person. It involved a merit badge and proper firearm training.

44846GWP

Funny as a Crutch goofus.

goofus

Leave my crutches out of this Grumpy White Person

Gardenman

Sure it purely financial. Boy Scouts have lost a bundle in gifts and will continue to lose funding in gifts from corporations big time. That had to accept gays to survive. Like one posting has said I can't believe they had not had gays in the Boy Scouts and if they think never they are in dream land. I have a high school friend of some 40+ years who is gay . When he told me he was I could find no reason not to continue our friendship. He has his desires and they are not mine but I fail to see how that affects our friendship. Like wise fail to see how gays in the Boy Scouts causes a problem or would detroy the Boy Scouts.

arnmcrmn

This has nothing more or nothing less to do than the BS caving, just like every other thing in America has. If you refuse to accept the gay and lesbian population then you are a hate spewing, intolerant, person.

Its amazing to me that on one hand the gay and lesbian community can think their way and its all good, but if you don't think like them you are labeled as intolerant. Think about it.....that is the definition of a hypocrite who is intolerant themselves.

reporter54

By some of the comments, you're saying that being gay isn't moral, that it equates to some sort of sexual deviancy and that it is wrong or that we have to protect our children from the reality of it. Those are generalizations and assumptions, all of which are not true. Few open minds here or tolerance. While I don't necessarily support gays in any of their causes, I am not against them either. Live and let live and lessen the judgmentalism. Gays are not perverts trying to molest your kids. They're human beings with a different sexual preference. That's all.

goofus

And NAMBLA is just a social club

thinkagain

Homosexuals comprise 2 percent of the population, yet they are committing up to one-third of the sex crimes against children.

A man who molests a preteen or teenage boy is engaging in homosexual behavior. To say that he is a 'pedophile' and not a homosexual is thoroughly dishonest.

To deny there is a link is to be part of the problem.

Pterocarya frax...

A substantial percent of molestations of young boys have been at the hands of Catholic priests.

To deny there is a link is to be part of the problem.

thinkagain

Yes, homosexual priests.

Nemesis

Reporter, if someone says something isn't moral, what's your basis for saying that isn't true?

JERRY from SANDUSKY

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc. and Libel and defamation.

Pterocarya frax...

I pray that you get some understanding in your mind, and compassion in your heart.

timary

HEY JERRY SANDUSKY.....WE ARE TALKING ABOUT GAYS---NOT PEDOPHILES---

I assume you are a man who is attracted to the opposite sex. does that mean that I have to worry about my little girl around you? NO, probably not. Being gay does not mean someone is out to have sex with everybody...they are attracted to and seek out relationships with other gay people who may end up interested in them as well.

coasterfan

This is progress, and true Americans understand the importance of equal rights for all. The same political group who opposed the Civil Rights movement in the 60's are the same ones opposing same sex marriage today. Luckily, conservatives who oppose equal rights for gays are a dwindling minority whose membership is growing older and dying off. Fifty years from now, we'll be watching documentaries that chronicle the conservative anti-gay movement, and we'll all denounce their viewpoint in the same way we today denounce the rednecks who opposed the civil rights movement in the South 50 years ago. Pay attention folks, this is your last chance to view actual dinosaurs before they, mercifully, become extinct.

JohnDorian12

How can you possibly compare gays to blacks??? That's such a slap in the face to black people, gays were never bought and sold as slaves...blacks don't have parades where they shove their race in your face....

SamAdams

You're right. Homosexuals haven't historically been enslaved. They've historically been EXECUTED.

(I want to point out to those who'd say that slavery is more widespread than only among black peoples that they're right. Whites have been and still occasionally are enslaved in places like the Middle East. Women have suffered based on gender rather than skin. Those of certain religions have been enslaved no matter their color. In short, EVERYbody has slaves in their ancestry. It's just a question of how angry we want to stay on behalf of people who died years ago and have nothing really to do with us today...)

And what do you mean "blacks don't have parades" and the like? What do YOU call the "Million Man March," or groups like the New Black Panthers?

goofus

Would that be on GAY TV the new channel

goofus

Coasterfan, please reread your history comic book on the blockage of the civil rights legislation, it was Barry Goldwater that halted the filibuster of democrats.

S w Rand 2016

Wake up, coasterfan. No one cares about the old guard of Republicans anymore. We even have many of the mainstream figures on Fox News talking about the younger generation of Republicans, especially Senator Rand Paul. Even Newt Gingrich wanted to say, before he dies off, that "Senator Rand Paul is a pioneer and the future of the new GOP."

Just look at Paul's suggestion regarding giving all couples the same financial benefits. He goes a step further than any other politician has dared. He proposes, at the national level, to remove the term marriage altogether from legal documents and use a neutral term instead, so that even heteros are not "legally" called "married."
It's a true centrist position and a realistic compromise. It's a real step forward, considering there are already many cultural organizations who perform ceremonies for Gays and even some Christian churches are performing them also.
Do you have a better idea which will also keep the peace? Or do you want to keep pushing unrealistic proposals so you can keep the endless debate going and secure your talking points?

S w Rand 2016

Again @ coasterfan
Progress, you say? All Democrats ever do is "talk" about helping minorities. Republicans did the work for almost all of our history and then, in the 60's movement, Dems "talked" about it but it still took a couple Republican Presidents (LBJ and Nixon) to stand up to the naysayers and actually get it enforced (and we are gonna get the job done for you, again, with Senator Rand Paul). It was merely signed into law by a Democrat president and, don't forget, even that was with bi-partisan support (and more Repubs signed on than Dems).

Your party's leaders always talk the minorities into submission, from one re-election cycle to another. They wouldn't dare to actually solve the social issues because then people would have to focus on everything else and realize they fail miserably at everything else. You would lose your talking points during election season and the minorities would abandon you because they wouldn't need you anymore. You know it.

If anything, 50 years from now we will be watching a documentary on how you guys tried to run a smear campaign, in 2016, on the first populist Presidential candidate we ever had (Senator Rand Paul). Feel free to prove us wrong, tho.

Kottage Kat

LBJ was a DEMOCRAT

goofus

And a very bad one at that!!!!

anthras

Per the civil rights act of 1964 a higher percent of republicans in both the house and senate voted in favor of the bill than did democrats ergo the democrats were the political group that opposed the bill

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