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US: Boy Scouts of America lifts national ban on gay youth members

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  1. “The decision will allow local scouting troops to decide on whether to permit gay members….”
    So, some ‘troops’ can maintain the ban if they decide to do so?
    Not an ideal outcome, but probably the best we can expect from them right now since the Confederacy has been leaning so heavily on them.

    1. No. The new policy does not include an option for local decisions.

    2. The article has an error where it suggests acceptance of gay scouts is a local option That was discussed both for scouts and leaders and was not in the proposal. The current stances is unambiguous: “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

  2. So local groups can still ban gay kids, and all groups are not allowed to have gay staff or leaders. So still a homophobic organization to the hilt.

    1. The article has an error where it suggests acceptance of gay scouts is a local option That was discussed both for scouts and leaders and was not in the proposal. The current stances is unambiguous: No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

  3. This story is wrong. There is no local option.

  4. The BSA executive committee suggested a plan in January to give sponsors of local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders or continuing to exclude them. However, the plan won little praise, and the BSA changed course after assessing responses to surveys sent out starting in February to members of the Scouting community.

  5. They’re so adorable when they try to compromise.

  6. GingerlyColors 24 May 2013, 6:26am

    Watching the news at work last night, they described the Boy Scouts as a great American Institution. Perhaps they should read up on their history. The Scouts were founded here in the UK by Lord Baden-Powell.
    Anyway, allowing openly gay youth members is a step in the right direction but there is still some way to go.

  7. Still not good enough really is it?

    While it is good that they are now allowing gay members, they are still not allowing gay staff, still not right!

    I wonder if they voted this way in the hope of appeasing some of the corporate sponsors that they have lost recently.

    Also, at what age will a member be told to leave because of being gay?

    1. Midnighter 24 May 2013, 9:40am

      It is absolutely not good enough. Its a grudging step in the right direction under enormous pressure, with true choice on the issue denied to the voting membership by a cowardly leadership subservient to their bigoted Christian allies.

      As you quite rightly point out, dedicated members will at some point be suddenly ineligable to continue participating at some arbtary date purely based on their sexuality. That is sickening.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, this whole attitude demonstrates that their “Christian” led pedagogy is not fit for purpose.

    2. The way I read is is once they reach 18 it is goodbye – so you can be a scout until you reach your 18th birthday and then you are told to piss off.

  8. …. and what happens when scouts get to be adults? Do they have to leave …?

    1. Yes. One day you are an Eagle Scout, the highest honor a Scout can receive and the next you are unsuitable for membership in the organization.

      The compromise will not solve the problems scouting has as result of its policies, it still discriminates on the basis of religious belief too, so many companies and all government funding are unavailable (one reason the scouts is now 70% church sponsored is because so many troops that were sponsored by police, firefighters, schools, have had to switch to a church; they can’t meet in public buildings most of the time, etc.).

      The worst publicity was ejecting gay kids. It won’t stop when they get ejected at 18. WHat this will do is lighten the pressure a bit and OTOH make their legal stance easy to attack. No longer can they discriminate because it is their stance that gay is incompatible with scouting values so they will have provide a rational basis to discriminate against only gay adults…it won’t last.

  9. Michaelandfred 24 May 2013, 2:39pm

    While still not far enough, they tackled the most important aspect from an individual standpoint. Wanting to be a scout leader and denied on the basis of your sexuality is discriminating and infuriating, but it’s a known fact and as adults we have the life experience and ability to deal with it.

    Boys enter the scouts at 6-7 years old, far before puberty or when total sexual orientation or desire is even on the table. Having these young boys forced to lie, hide or be forced out of a group that they have been part of for years while their friends advance is beyond outrageous.

    With this new rule this will no longer be the case, and IF they are ill treated because of their sexuality they can speak out or report it without fear or shame. For your gay boys this is a major win.

    Now we work on getting them gay role models in leadership positions.

  10. Hello, am I missing something? I didn’t realise America was this backwards to allow an organisation to openly discriminate. I’m sure this would be illegal in the UK. Why has the birthday card thread got 150 comments but this one only has 16? Is it just accepted that there will be discrimination in the US?

    1. Midnighter 26 May 2013, 9:03pm

      This issue has been rumbling on for some years now, so I’d imagine most folk are well aware of the build up and this is something of an anticlimactic bit of non-closure. There was another article PN published almost concurrently about this which may have split the comments somewhat.

      In terms of us equality, as far as I’m aware there is little LGBT inclusion in most equality legislation when it comes to defining what is permissable in companies and organisation, and it varies by state. It seems that legislators serve the needs of religious interests above all others when such matters are involved. Where there is legislation it seems poorly enforced. Shareholders of Exxon Mobil are predicted to be about to take it to task yet again over its failure to implement such legally required measures and have been refusing since 1999.

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