Thursday, May 23, 2013

In Dallas, Boy Scouts vote to lift ban on gay scouts but keep ban on gay adult leaders

The Boy Scouts of America has voted, in a rank-and-file poll taken at headquarters in Grapevine. TX, to end the ban on open gays as scouts.  It will keep the ban as scout leaders.  The MSNBC story is (website url) here
The BSA also says it will not tolerate conduct with propagates any sexual expression in its activities.
The vote for lifting the ban was apparently about 60%.
Some say that the BSA could lose 10% of its membership and many sponsors, but the BSA has lost many sponsors already because of the ban, especially those affiliated with local governments.

When I was in the Army (1968-19070), field grade officers (at Fort Eustis) and probably even junior officers were expected to participate as leaders.

The policy had been in effect for 103 years. Some reports say that the specific ban on gays by BSA was implemented in 1991 (two years before Clinton introduced "don't ask. don't tell, don't pursue" for gays in the military), on a theory that scouts had to be "morally straight".  Put bluntly, the BSA didn't want to allow influences that could contradict a belief that every boy would grow up to become a father, raise a family, and give his parents (owed) lineage.  
The Mormon Church (Latter Day Saints) sponsors about 25% of troops today but said it would not oppose lifting the ban.

The new policy starts Jan. 1, 2014. 
The BSA says it has no plans for further review of the ban on leaders.  It’s not clear whether there is “asking”.   Some media outlets suggest that the BSA really will revisit the policy on adult leaders in 2014. 

The New York Times had an interesting editorial ("Scouting's Move Toward Equality") Friday, May 25, here. There is an interesting observation that the Scouting policy (at least on adults) says "If you;re gay, keep quiet, because there is something wrong with you."  I know the feeling. It's a quote of a quote.  

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