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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Follow David Crary on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CraryAP

 

Comments

gojuman

and America continues to fall apart

Grandpa04

thats a fact!!

starryeyes83

It's sad they caved into the pressure and it will continue with other organizations.

KnuckleDragger

Go ahead, calling tomorrow and all three of my boys will no longer be part of BSA. Maybe the less than 1% of the population who is gay can support them financially.

The Big Dog's back

Your name never fit better.

Cowboy

I'm pulling my son out also!

thomtom

Do you really think there are no gay people there now???

Lakerielife

Gay isn't a disease. Your kids won't catch it.

starryeyes83

I'm very thankful I don't have kids. But that's not my point. The Boy Scouts should not have been bullied. Why don't gay people start their own gay scouts?

happyfeet64

What exactly is it that makes you want to not associate with someone who is gay> Are you concerned your child may "become" gay themselves or is it you don't want to explain to your children that there are gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transgender people in the world? Or is it because of your religious views? Do you have a scenario playing out in your head that they are all pedophiles who are going to prey on your sons? Or that your sons are going to be recruited into some secret subversive society of gays? Do you have a genetic predisposition that causes you to burst into flames whenever you come in contact with a gay person? Why do people make this such a big deal? Did it ever occur to you that maybe just maybe the subject may never rear it's ugly head and your sons won't even know their fellow scout or leader is gay? Did you stop to think that they don't want their personal life broadcast to the populace because of the ridiculous views that people embrace so readily? And as others have pointed out- it is such a small percentage of kids and leaders that are gay and they are probably already in the BSA. then what difference does it make? I am so glad my children and grandchildren are not as closed minded and judgmental as some of the people I I read posts from. And people wonder why there's so much hatred in the world today. What an inheritence for our children.Sad.

Nemesis

Maybe people just don't want to muddle what they're trying to teach their kids about right and wrong.

I ardently support the legalization of ALL recreational drugs. However, I don't wish to associate with drug users, and I'm sure as heck not going to let my children associate with them and dilute my message that it's morally unacceptable.

Some people go to great lengths to keep their kids from associating with kids whose parents own guns. That's their right, no matter how much I support the 2nd Amendment.

This is America - last time I checked that meant we don't all have to believe the same thing, and we can raise our kids to believe different things as well. That also means we're free to create PRIVATE organizations for our kids to associate with the children of like-minded people.

The boy scouts were formed by people who believed certain conduct was wrong. Apparently, a lot of people find that belief backward and unenlightened. What puzzles me is why they don't feel able to start their own youth organization, i.e. why they feel incapable of achieving the same things that people they find backward and unenlightened can.

Erie County Resident

The gay community says they are loving and tolerant. Really?
What a joke.
So what part of bullying, extortion, threats, and harrassment is considered loving and tolerent on their part? These are the things they say are being done to them. The exact things they are doing to the BSA.
Just asking.

thinkagain

What this boils down to, is homosexuals are not comfortable with who they have chosen to be and through hate and intolerance, spit on a moral way/view of life.

The Big Dog's back

Really?

bored reader

Well said!

Kelly

I'll be enrolling my sons

timary

Come on people. so many scouts have gone through over the years and guess what? THEY WERE GAY! so what? I'm pretty sure they aren't at the meetings trying to convert your boys. Gay people are born gay just like straight people are born straight. They are who they are. The idea of excluding a child because of that is like excluding all red-haired children. STUPID

deertracker

Agreed!

44846GWP

The mouth breathers and bigots are out in force! Lets have just Black leaders for black Scouts and White leaders for white Scouts, straight leaders for straight scouts, and gay leaders for gay scouts. Seperate but equil, oh wait, that was tried once brfore in history. How about people just face the fact that people are people..gay, straight, bi, black, white, Asian, Indian. Get educated and do something positive with your life.

JACKEL

Yea,just go about your life and keep your crap out of my face.If you want to marry your dog don't parade down the street in uniform.I gave 4 years of my youth to protect that uniform, while others ran off to college or Canada like wooses!

Kelly

Huh?

bored reader

Yes people are people. You are born black, white, Indian, Asian etc. You are not born gay. It is a choice to have un-natural sex with the a member of the same sex. Period.
Gays want to play the discrimination card and they are not tolerant in any way. Sadly this country is allowing them to claim a status that is not theirs. Disgusting.

44846GWP

Bored reader, I'ts a "choice" to be gay? Really? Then it must be a choice to be straight. I don't remeber ever choosing to be straight. When did you decide, do tell us.

thinkagain

Scientists have been searching for decades for some distinguishing cause of homosexuality and have failed to find one. Get educated and do something positive with your life.

thinkagain

People who choose to be homosexual do not meet the definition of “race”. Get educated and do something positive with your life.

44846GWP

forgottothink: Tell us when you chose to be straight.

KURTje

Not proper. They can't tefeulhunden though.

shucks

tefeulhunden does not compute.

Pterocarya frax...

It is obvious the ban against gays in the BSA has worked for all these years, in spite of the fact that a ban on guns could never work.~

JACKEL

I don't think the gays want to make you a slave,like the government does by removing your ability to defend yourself.I have always been able to defend myself from gays in the military.You are now almost a slave already.Each and every day Bozo and Congress is passing laws to remove your freedom.What do we do,follow like sheep to the slaughter.

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

Nemesis

Coaster, it has nothing to do with equal rights. One of our rights is freedom of association, and this is a private organization.

thomtom

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

deertracker

Agreed!

themomx6

coasterfan.............so someone who disagrees with YOU is not a "true American"? Got ya!

JohnDorian12

That's what gay people think...if I simply refuse to agree with their lifestyle I MUST be a white Christian radical instead if a person who also has the right to MY own opinion, such hypocrites....the only someone is not hateful is IF they agree with you hmmm who does THAT sound like???

arnmcrmn

coasterfan is a bust on here and most likely in life. If you don't agree with them, they just try to tear you apart on this form. I mean how weak is that. Lame too.

Informed

Goofus, Girl Scouts is open to every girl. No is denied because of anything, including sexual orientation. Girl Scouts does not discriminate. Period.

goofus

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

JohnDorian12

Can we not keep ANYTHING sacred???? No way thi passes!!! What's next? Should they allow girls in the boyscouts too?? What a joke

Kottage Kat

Then it will be the bi-scouts

Sitting In The ...

To all of you that oppose this i have a question, could they do any worse then the multiple priest who were molesting children? or because that's a church it doesn't count? You people are ignorant getting obsessed about stupid things when we could be focused on more important issues.

goofus

Great, a bunch of boys being taught how to throw a baseball by the guy in the VW Passat commercial.

The Big Dog's back

You've got a lot nerve talking about gay people when your news source, Jim Hoft, is gay.

SamAdams

Do I think homosexuality is evil? No. Do I think it's a "choice?" No (and don't weigh in on THAT one until you've had to watch the utter agony of a loved one dealing with the issue — NOBODY "chooses" that!). Do I approve of banning homosexuals from groups? No, just as I don't approve of denying membership to non-whites, non-males, etc. BUT THAT'S NOT THE POINT!

The Boy Scouts is a private organization that should be able to determine its own membership qualifications. It's a private organization that should be able to determine its own rules and codes of conduct. My approval or disapproval (and, frankly, yours!) is immaterial.

For the record, I stopped supporting the Boy Scouts years ago because of the group's stance on homosexuality and atheism. But I never, not even once, demanded that it "change or else." Work to change minds? Sure! Demand it or force it? Perish the thought! What I find far more appalling than any Scouts criteria is the virtual absence of tolerance from the so-called OTHER side of the fence! That the Scouts were effectively forced into a decision (one which is making pretty much EVERYbody mad, by the way) is the absolute antithesis of freedom or tolerance or any OTHER word some lobbies like to spout.

Don't like the Scouting credo? Don't join. Want your kids to be a part of some Scout-like group? Find one or form one. Forcing others to adhere to YOUR beliefs, even if you're right? Well, that's just wrong.

The Big Dog's back

The KKK was/is a private organization, does that mean they don't have to abide by the Constitution also?

S w Rand 2016

I imagine the KKK is not in the position to decline Gay people from membership. They probably need everyone they can get in this day and age.

Wait, why are we talking about this again? In what way were the Boy Scouts violating the Constitution?

SamAdams

The KKK DOES abide by the Constitution. First Amendment? Freedom of association? Hello?

Regrettably, yes, I support the KKK's existence as much as I (also regrettably) support the Muslim Brotherhood and the like. Where I draw the line is when constitutionality is LEGITIMATELY crossed, and that's when the rights of others are violated.

For example, if you want to sit in a room and talk about how black people or Christians are inferior, that's appalling but doesn't actively infringe on anybody else's rights. When you decide to burn crosses on other people's property, though, or set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, neither your "freedom of association" nor your "freedom of religion" trumps the crime.

Again, I'm all for working to change MINDS. What I'm NOT for is making a given mindset a criminal act. Consider that for a minute. REALLY consider it. And then answer this: Do you truly wish "thought crime" to be a crime? And if you do, who decides what thoughts are criminal, and how might those definitions evolve or change over time or with the beliefs of whoever's in charge of defining those crimes at any given moment? Even more threatening to those Constitutional rights you pretend to defend: How do we KNOW what somebody's thinking, eh?

happyfeet64

Thumbs up Sam Adams :)

Nemesis

No, dog, they DON'T. The Constitution is a document outlining the limitations on what GOVERNMENT may do. They are not the government (thankfully.) If you don't like the way an organization is run, form your own the way you want it.

Look at the history of religion for how this should be handled. Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Joseph Smith - when they disagreed with the existing church, they went off and former their own.

getreal08

SO IS THE BLACK PANTHERS

thinktwice

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

Pterocarya frax...

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

The Big Dog's back

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

mikel

Please don't cave! Do not let them push their agenda on you.

Let them start their own and they can call it homosexuals of America.

Darkhorse

How can a parent trust that when he sends his child to boy scout camp that the counselors won't harm your child? How can the Boy Scouts of Amercica even begin to defend themselves if their should be a lawsuit against one of the counselors? How could a parents live with themselves knowing that there is a possiblity of something happening to your child? The only recourse is better to be safe then sorry and opt out and not send your child to this organization.

SamAdams

No parent could trust with 100% certainty that, when he sends his child to Scouting camp, his child will be safe. I'd also point out, however, that homosexuals are neither more nor less likely to be pedophiles than are heterosexuals. That particular straw man is a very scary one, but it's still just a straw man.

Nemesis

It's not a straw man Sam. It's called a statistical preponderance. Does the correlation demonstrate causality? No, but it doesn't have to in order to have predictive value. That principle is the basis for the entire gambling industry.

SamAdams

You're right. Correlation DOESN'T equal causality. Still, too bad for you there's no obvious correlation, ain't it?

http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/ra...

Nemesis

There's a huge correlation with actual reported incidents, the majority of which are same sex. The reference to which you link is a bunch of ivory tower academics in the field of psychology (a pseudo-science) desperately clinging to the "no true Scotsman" argument to claim that all those people molesting kids of their own gender don't count. This despite the fact that they consistently chose victims of their own gender, when both were available, at the cost of increased risk and effort due to social stigma and receptive targets being a 1-3% minority. These pseudo-scientists would have us believe that was all totally random, rather than preference-based.

happyfeet64

You ,unfortunately take that chance anytime you send your child out of your front door-whether it's to school or camp or the Rec. Center or your local church- anywhere! Not just the BSA-pedophiles exist on every level of our society, they are predators BUT homosexual men or women are NOT pedophiles! Read and educate yourself before you throw out misinformation. Psychologically, a pedophile is seeking control and humiliation of the victim-the same as a rapist. Although,both involve sexual behavior,neither is solely about the sex act. To lead others to believe otherwise is irresponsible at the very least. I personally support equal rights for everyone but I do agree that discrimination that has been present in our society cannot be overcome through bullying,namecalling or intolerance of others and their opinions. The only way to move forward is education of the reasons behind the discrimination. Boycotting, nonviolent protests,etc. are a step but pushing your referendum down someone's throat will not change their way of thinking,so on alot of levels I do agree with some of the posts. As the Christian Bible suggests that if you lead a godly life then you are more likely to lead others to God. Actions ALWAYS speak louder than words.

KURTje

Nemesis nailed it with the 12.21 post. The gays need to start the G ay Boy Scouts. Catholics & Anton Zandor LeVay both stated their preference yet were different.

Nemesis

There are also several such alternate organizations, most have more open membership than BSA, and a few are more conservative. There's room for all types of organizations - no need to bully existing ones into re-making themselves.