Boy Scouts Executive Committee Votes to Allow Gay Troop Leaders

In a long overdue move, the Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to end their policy of discrimination regarding gay troop leaders, but only at the national level. The move still has to be ratified by the National Executive Board.

The Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee unanimously approved allowing gay adults to serve as leaders, officials said on Monday, in a major step toward dismantling a policy that has caused deep rifts in the 105-year-old organization.

The group’s National Executive Board will meet to ratify the resolution on July 27, the Boy Scouts said in a statement.

“This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders,” it said.

The resolution approved by the Executive Committee on Friday follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June to allow same-sex marriage nationwide and a call in May from the Boy Scouts president, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who said the ban on gay leadership needed to change.

The Boy Scouts said in the statement the move reflected “the rapid changes in society and increasing legal challenges at the federal, state and local levels.”

It’s only a partial victory, though. Local Boy Scout groups can still maintain their discriminatory policies, and since a huge number of troops are sponsored by churches, especially Mormon churches, it’s a fair bet that most of them will do so. It also does nothing about the BSA’s official policy of discrimination against atheists.

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  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    In a long overdue move, the Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to end their policy of discrimination regarding gay troop leaders, but only at the national level.

    Why isn’t this bigger news? Do people even know that the Boy Scouts have gay troops?

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    In a long overdue move, the Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee has voted unanimously to end their policy of discrimination regarding gay troop leaders, but only at the national level.

    Why isn’t this bigger news? Do people even know that the Boy Scouts have gay troops?

  • doublereed

    Are all of their decisions unanimous? Wasn’t their vote to keep their discriminatory policy also unanimous last time this came up?

  • doublereed

    Are all of their decisions unanimous? Wasn’t their vote to keep their discriminatory policy also unanimous last time this came up?

  • abb3w

    This seems more or less the policy reportedly adopted by the BSA about a century back, regarding segregation of scout troops. Ah, progress…

  • abb3w

    This seems more or less the policy reportedly adopted by the BSA about a century back, regarding segregation of scout troops. Ah, progress…

  • raven

    Might be too little too late.

    My local area Boy Scouts have launched a recruiting drive. They say their membership is down by half in a decade or so.

    There are a lot of alternatives for kids these days especially for summer camps. They’ve gotten really specialized. Biology camps, kayak camps, computer camps, etc..

    The real frontier is going to be atheists. Gays make up 4% of the population. Nones make up 23% and going up steadily. But look at it on the bright side. They hate us more than they hate…the gays.

  • raven

    Might be too little too late.

    My local area Boy Scouts have launched a recruiting drive. They say their membership is down by half in a decade or so.

    There are a lot of alternatives for kids these days especially for summer camps. They’ve gotten really specialized. Biology camps, kayak camps, computer camps, etc..

    The real frontier is going to be atheists. Gays make up 4% of the population. Nones make up 23% and going up steadily. But look at it on the bright side. They hate us more than they hate…the gays.

  • Curt Cameron

    I’ll be curious to see whether troops come up with their own policies. In my experience with the Scouts, an adult would fill out the BSA national organization paperwork to get registered, but the local troop didn’t have its own policies. You register at the BSA, you put on that paperwork that you’re with Troop 377, and it just happens.

    For a troop to have a policy of rejecting gay adults, there would have to be a whole new system instituted where that troop establishes its own policies to exclude gays. Since it would take someone instituting this for a troop, my expectation is that most troops won’t do it. However, I don’t have any experience with Mormon-chartered troops. Here in Texas they’re typically chartered by local Protestant churches.

  • Curt Cameron

    I’ll be curious to see whether troops come up with their own policies. In my experience with the Scouts, an adult would fill out the BSA national organization paperwork to get registered, but the local troop didn’t have its own policies. You register at the BSA, you put on that paperwork that you’re with Troop 377, and it just happens.

    For a troop to have a policy of rejecting gay adults, there would have to be a whole new system instituted where that troop establishes its own policies to exclude gays. Since it would take someone instituting this for a troop, my expectation is that most troops won’t do it. However, I don’t have any experience with Mormon-chartered troops. Here in Texas they’re typically chartered by local Protestant churches.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Irrelevance engenders acceptance. When a group’s membership dwindles, it becomes desperate for new members, and publicly it becomes “open minded”. It’s not just the boy sprouts or churches, but also the US military’s new stances on permitting transgendered people to join. They still don’t want LGBTQ people and will continue to discriminate behind closed doors, but they need the numbers and the money they bring “until things get back to normal”.

  • http://onhandcomments.blogspot.com/ left0ver1under

    Irrelevance engenders acceptance. When a group’s membership dwindles, it becomes desperate for new members, and publicly it becomes “open minded”. It’s not just the boy sprouts or churches, but also the US military’s new stances on permitting transgendered people to join. They still don’t want LGBTQ people and will continue to discriminate behind closed doors, but they need the numbers and the money they bring “until things get back to normal”.

  • se habla espol

    For a troop to have a policy of rejecting gay adults, there would have to be a whole new system instituted where that troop establishes its own policies to exclude gays. Since it would take someone instituting this for a troop, my expectation is that most troops won’t do it.

    Many years ago, I was a scoutmaster and a commissioner (basically a policy cop checking out the troops and such). As scoutmaster, I attended the Troop Committee meetings of my troop. As commissioner, I attended district committee meetings as well as troop-level functions around the district (scout and scouter). The system as I knew it did not require any “new system” to “establish its own policies”: the committees don’t even need policies. “We don’t like that guy”, for whatever reasons, suffices.

    Despite national BSA policy, neither the troop nor the district had any problem accepting me, knowing me to be an atheist. But then, all the Mormon troops in the Council were in their own, separate district, and my troop was sponsored by a US gov’t agency, where atheism was not allowed to matter.

  • se habla espol

    For a troop to have a policy of rejecting gay adults, there would have to be a whole new system instituted where that troop establishes its own policies to exclude gays. Since it would take someone instituting this for a troop, my expectation is that most troops won’t do it.

    Many years ago, I was a scoutmaster and a commissioner (basically a policy cop checking out the troops and such). As scoutmaster, I attended the Troop Committee meetings of my troop. As commissioner, I attended district committee meetings as well as troop-level functions around the district (scout and scouter). The system as I knew it did not require any “new system” to “establish its own policies”: the committees don’t even need policies. “We don’t like that guy”, for whatever reasons, suffices.

    Despite national BSA policy, neither the troop nor the district had any problem accepting me, knowing me to be an atheist. But then, all the Mormon troops in the Council were in their own, separate district, and my troop was sponsored by a US gov’t agency, where atheism was not allowed to matter.

  • magistramarla

    Raven,

    We have Camp Quest. Our local Freethinkers group sponsors some campers and some of our members volunteer as camp leaders. Requests for the camp have grown so much that there is talk of having two separate camps in different parts of Texas.

    Heartening news, eh?

  • magistramarla

    Raven,

    We have Camp Quest. Our local Freethinkers group sponsors some campers and some of our members volunteer as camp leaders. Requests for the camp have grown so much that there is talk of having two separate camps in different parts of Texas.

    Heartening news, eh?

  • raven

    Heartening news, eh?

    Sure is.

    My parents always shipped us off to one summer camp or another. I thought they were doing us a big favor. As an adult, I now know they were doing someone a favor but it might not have been the kids!!!

    We did a lot of things that might never have been experienced otherwise. I rode a horse and learned how to paddle a canoe among other things.

    I’m sure Camp Quest would be a lot of fun.

  • raven

    Heartening news, eh?

    Sure is.

    My parents always shipped us off to one summer camp or another. I thought they were doing us a big favor. As an adult, I now know they were doing someone a favor but it might not have been the kids!!!

    We did a lot of things that might never have been experienced otherwise. I rode a horse and learned how to paddle a canoe among other things.

    I’m sure Camp Quest would be a lot of fun.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Baby steps, with a long, long way to go.

    I remember my time in the Scouts fondly. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I couldn’t now, in good conscience, enroll my sons in the Scouts. We found other things to do that cover a lot of what Scouting does.

    My only contact with Scouting in the last 35+ years was to attend the Eagle Court for the sons of some old friends. I reconciled my attendance by being there for the young men who had made a great accomplishment, not being there for the organization. It was still uncomfortable in places.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    Baby steps, with a long, long way to go.

    I remember my time in the Scouts fondly. I had a lot of fun and learned a lot. I couldn’t now, in good conscience, enroll my sons in the Scouts. We found other things to do that cover a lot of what Scouting does.

    My only contact with Scouting in the last 35+ years was to attend the Eagle Court for the sons of some old friends. I reconciled my attendance by being there for the young men who had made a great accomplishment, not being there for the organization. It was still uncomfortable in places.