Monday, January 28, 2013

Boy Scouts of America is about to end its ban on gays (NBC)


The national association of the Boy Scouts of America is about to end its ban on gay members and scoutleaders, although it would allow local chapter to have their own policies.

Pete Williams, Justice Correspondent for NBC News, reports.


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The BSA, as a private organization, won a pyrrhic victory to keep its ban from the Supreme Court in 2000 (in the James Dale case), but has faced major opposition from many local governments and communities who will not allow it to rent or use public spaces. 

I did notice on the Fairfax County Public Schools website that FCPS (Virginia) allows the BSA to use its facilities.

The end of the military “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for gays in the  military could also have provided psychological pressure to the BSA.  In chess, we call it “positional pressure.”


Update:

Not to throw cold water on lifting the ban, the Washington Post on Tuesday, Jan. 29, indicates that the scouting world is "divided" on lifting the ban, in a story by Michelle Boorstein and Annie Gowen, here (p A3).   At the heart of the matter seems to be a question about the way a large national organization is perceived as socializing young men into following certain common gender norms as if they were morally determined.

A national vote may occur Feb. 6.

Petula Dvorak wrote a column this week for the Washington Post explaining the Boy Scout ban on gays as "skewed thinking" or the same ilk that we saw with Anita Bryant in Florida back in 1977.
 
The second picture shows the Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in downtown Dallas, as under construction in November, 2011.  

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