Boy Scouts Considering Lifting Ban On Gay Scouts, Leaders

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The Boy Scouts of America are considering lifting a national ban on gay scouts and leaders, the organizations spokesman announced.

USA Today reports:

“If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting at their scheduled meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts’ decade’s old national policy banning homosexuals.

“‘The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue,’ BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA TODAY.”

It was just in July of last year that the Scouts reaffirmed their ban on openly gay scouts and leaders. At the time, Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said the organization decided that was “absolutely the best policy.”

NBC News, which broke the story, says the Scouts are “close to ending ban on gay members, leaders.”

Written By: Eyder Peralta
continue to source article at npr.org

9 COMMENTS

  1. There is nothing in this NPR story about lifting the Boy Scouts ban on atheists. Why not at least a mention of the fact that the BSA is continuing it’s descrimination against atheists? Shame on NPR for not doing so.

  2. From the BBC…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21239941

    Deron Smith, a BSA spokesman, said that if the change under consideration came into effect, “the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents”.
    But Mr Smith said a change in their policy banning atheists was not being considered

    Good start but only 3/4 of the job done by the style of it!

    Scouts can still discriminate locally and the ban on atheism is really bronze age special pleading….so not as impressive as it should be for an organization in the 21st century.

  3. In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony. (Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal/AP)

    Meanwhile, here in the UK, flags are having to work harder, for longer, for less…

    Anvil.

  4. As a former German scout I can only say that I’m kind of shocked such a ban existed in the first place. Here in Germany all major scout organizations have groups marching in the pride parades on Christopher Street Day. It seems that in the US the girl scouts are the group to go to if you want the open-minded environment I’ve come to know and love in German scout groups.

  5. In reply to #1 by skiptic:

    There is nothing in this NPR story about lifting the Boy Scouts ban on atheists. Why not at least a mention of the fact that the BSA is continuing it’s descrimination against atheists? Shame on NPR for not doing so.

    Really? Again, I’m rather puzzled by this. Although two of the three big German scout organizations are associated with a Christian church (roman catholic and german protestant church) the organizations are of course open to people of all religions and none. In my local group about half the group leaders were atheists or agnostics.

  6. In reply to #6 by foundationist:

    Really? Again, I’m rather puzzled by this. Although two of the three big German scout organizations are associated with a Christian church (roman catholic and german protestant church) the organizations are of course open to people of all religions and none. In my local group about half the group leaders were atheists or agnostics.

    As I understand it, there is no real world governing body for Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America has different rules than those from other countries (and good for Germany, btw!). The BSA is run by more conservative religious elements, in particular the Mormon Church is one of the largest sponsors of the BSA, and churches in general are very strong supporters of scouting, giving scouts church space for meetings, and just having a lot of scouts as members. Trying to get rid of anti-atheist sentiment will be pretty difficult because of that, I’m sure.

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