Boy Scouts to allow gay scouts but not gay leaders

The Washington Post reports:

The Boy Scouts of America are calling for an end to their ban on homosexual members, while maintaining the ban for adult leaders.

The organization is proposing a resolution stating that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The change still must be approved by the group’s roughly 1,400 national council members at a meeting the week of May 20.

The shift comes after a review of the long-standing policy that began in February, with surveys of adult members, parents, alumni, teens, donors, religious partners and scouting leaders. Since the Boy Scouts announced in January that they would reconsider the ban, both supporters and opponents have been lobbying leadership aggressively.

“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 organization said in a statement. According to the group’s review, a majority of adults in the organization’s community still support the ban. However, parents under 50 oppose it. So do teens both inside and outside the Boy Scouts. Slightly less than half of parents of current scouts support it.

This seems like a strange policy. Don’t current Scouts grow up to be future leaders within the organization? Also, this still seems to be a significant revision of the Scout’s oath to be “morally straight.” I think Albert Mohler’s comment is spot-on:

The Boy Scouts of America attempts a fatal compromise. This half-way position will satisfy no one and cannot last.

He’s right about that. This won’t last, and I don’t think it was meant to. This solution seems to be designed for the eventual inclusion of gay people at every level. Stay tuned. In the meantime, read the rest here.


  • James Bradshaw

    I’m not sure I understand the reason behind the support of a ban against gay youths (especially if the ban considers orientation without regard to whether the orientation is acted upon).

    Is it a fear of being a “corrupting” influence? If so, one would have to believe that orientation is very fluid and malleable and that most males are sexually neutral in their orientation, choosing one or the other as if they were making a decision about buying a car. I find this difficult to believe.

    Further, what about the fact that the BSA permit all types of religious backgrounds, including those deemed by many religious fundamentalists as heretical, idolatrous or even blasphemous (such as Mormonism or even Catholicism, depending on who you ask)? The Scouts permit Jewish children, Mormon children and even Hindu children. Why are gay youths a concern but not the supposedly “dangerous” ideas and beliefs of non-Christian faiths?

  • buddyglass

    Also, this still seems to be a significant revision of the Scout’s oath to be “morally straight.”

    If the Oath were explicitly Christian it would be. But it (the Oath) is not, to my knowledge. So the question is: whose morals?

    The BSA’s problem is that, unlike a religious denomination, it can’t easily split itself into traditional and progressive halves. It’s desperately trying to retain its broad cross-sectional appeal, and that’s becoming increasingly impossible as the culture becomes more polarized.

  • Chris

    What Christian reason would there be to reject kids who struggle with SSA for joining Boy Scouts? Any boy who struggles with sexual sin (all of them) need not join?

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