Once upon a time in America, the Boy Scouts were viewed by most of us as a wonderful organization that built character in young men. The refusal of this national organization to adapt to changing times and circumstances has put this once venerated group on the front line of groups that promote hate.
When will Boy Scout leadership realize that fanatical, intolerant, right-wing Christian values are the problem, not the solution?
From today’s New York Times:
By ERIK ECKHOLM
Published: July 17, 2012
The Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its longtime policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders. The decision, announced on Tuesday, came after what the organization described as a wide-ranging internal review, and despite public protests.
The exclusion policy “reflects the beliefs and perspectives” of the organization, the Boy Scouts said in a news release from its national headquarters in Irving, Tex.
“While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society,” said the Bob Mazzuca, the chief Scout executive, according to the statement.
Under growing public pressure to reconsider the issue, the Boy Scouts in 2010 formed a committee of 11 “volunteers and professional leaders to evaluate whether the policy was in the best interests of the organization,” the statement said. The committee “included a diversity of perspectives” and engaged in “extensive research and evaluations,” the statement said. But the existence of the committee was kept secret until now, and the Scouts declined to reveal its membership or methods.
Gay rights groups, who for years have pressed the Boy Scouts for change, said the organization was out of step with society.
“The Boy Scouts of America is one of the last cultural institutions to have discrimination as part of their policy,” said Richard Ferraro, vice president for communications with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, noting that the Girl Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the 4-H Clubs and now even the military forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation. (read more)
Use the link below to see a video news report of an Eagle Scout who was dismissed from the organization this week for being gay.
Eagle Scout Thrown Out of Camp For Being Gay