With a majority of 61%, Boy Scout leaders gathered in Grapevine, Texas approved a resolution that will repeal the Boy Scouts long standing ban on gay scouts beginning on January 1st, 2014. From a livetweeter at the Boy Scout conference:
61% passed it— Ken Krogue (@kenkrogue) May 23, 2013
On the eve of the vote, BSA President Wayne Perry called for voters to approve the resolution. He wrote an opinion piece for USA Today saying a change is "the right decision for Boy Scouts."However, not all of the membership is as keen on the new policy.
Of the more than 200,000 leaders, parents and youth members who responded, 61 percent supported the current policy of excluding gays, while 34 percent opposed it. However, most parents of young Scouts, as while as youth members themselves, opposed the banBoy Scouts have been under a de facto "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, as illustrated by this video of a scout coming out to a scout leader.
"As far as I'm concerned, your lifestyle is your lifestyle," the official states. "It has nothing whatsoever to do with the way I look at an individual or the way I judge them. However, by telling me what you just told me, it automatically takes you out of the program ... I really have no choice now."When the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy was repealed but implementation was delayed for nine months, only a few service members were removed from the military in the interrim, most or all by their own insistence. It will be seven months until this new policy goes into effect, so the Boy Scouts will have the same problem. My guess is that, unlike what happened in the military, some anti-homosexual zealots in the Boy Scouts will be eager to toss out Scouts before January 1st, 2014 comes around, creating plenty of uproar.
The new Scout policy will allow openly gay Scouts, but not openly gay Scout leaders. This has been ridiculed - and rightly so - by many, noting that once a gay Scout turns 18 he is suddenly inflicted with "Cinderella syndrome."
At the age of 18, in the Boy Scout and Varsity Scout programs, a young man is considered an adult, and thus no longer eligible to earn a youth member’s rank. At that age he may register as an assistant Scoutmaster, and assist in providing adult-level supervision at meetings and on outings.In other words, at midnight on one's eighteenth birthday, a young man goes from highly honored Eagle Scout to persona non grata based on his sexual orientation.
Something tells me this won't stand for long.
3:20 PM PT: From one of our own:
This former cub scout would like to thank the @boyscouts for their decision to allow gay youth to participate. Next step? LGBT leaders.
— CLP (@cooper888) May 23, 2013
3:27 PM PT: And from Scott Wooledge, another memeograph:
4:32 PM PT: Official Statement from BSA:
"Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting's history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America's National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
"This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
"While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America's youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve."