Sacked scout leader who sued Boy Scouts says lifting ban is not enough
A gay scout leader who was sacked by the Boy Scouts of America, and who sued the organisation, now says lifting its national ban on gay adults isn’t enough.
James Dale, 44, points out to those congratulating him on the pending victory, that lifting the national ban doesn’t automatically mean gay scout masters are allowed.
“This is not a bold measure,” said Dale. He went on: “A bold measure would be ending discrimination.”
Dale sued the BSA over his dismissal as the assistant leader of the Matawan troop, and after a ten year wait, was told in 2000 that the organisation had the right as a private group to set its rules.
The BSA in 2013 changed its rules to allow gay scout members to come out and remain members, but maintained its ban on adult leaders and volunteers.
The 17-member executive committee of BSA earlier this month backed a resolution that would end the organisation’s blanket ban on gay leaders.
Gaining final approval from the National Executive Board is the final hurdle to resolving the issue which has dogged the Boy Scouts for years and led to bitter divisions within it.
Campaigners are hopeful ahead of the anticipated decision, with equality lawyer David Bois telling the New York Times: “It’s a great day for America and for scouting.”
However, some of the anti-gay Republican Presidential candidates have hit out at the decision – with Rick Perry claiming the BSA is “better off” not allowing openly gay scoutmasters.
The former Governor of Texas claimed: “I believe that scouting would be better off, if they didn’t have openly gay scoutmasters.”
Fellow 2016 presidential hopeful, Scott Walker who launched campaign this week, also voiced his support of the ban on gay troop leaders in the Boy Scouts of America.