The Boy Scouts of America’s decision to suggest lifting the ban on gay youth members “is a step in the right direction,” but it must go further, the president of the Unitarian Universalist Association has said.

Last Friday, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced it would propose to members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas next month lifting the ban on gay youth scouts, but maintaining a ban on gay adult leaders.

The BSA said it had changed course after receiving the results of surveys sent out this year to members of America’s scouting community.

But the compromise has angered equality leaders.

Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), in a statement said:

While long opposing the BSA’s discriminatory policies, the UUA has consistently noted the many benefits that scouting offers to boys and young men, and we applaud the fact that these benefits will potentially be available to all boys and young men who want to participate in scouting. However, it is abhorrent to continue to discriminate against scout leaders.

As a religious community, Unitarian Universalists are called to affirm the worth and dignity of every person regardless of sexual orientation. Starting in 1985, the UUA has spoken out in opposition to the BSA’s discriminatory practices.

This resolution further illustrates how the BSA remains out of touch and inconsistent with their own values of respect and kindness, but also with the changing attitudes of the American public.

The proposed resolution from the BSA is a step in the right direction, but it falls short of ensuring equality for gay scout leaders. Unitarian Universalists remain hopeful that there is still time to persuade the BSA to move from discrimination and prejudice to inclusion and respect for all Americans who wish to participate in scouting.