Attorney General Criticizes Boy Scouts' Ban on Gay Adult Leaders

Illustration for article titled Attorney General Criticizes Boy Scouts Ban on Gay Adult Leaders

Attorney General Eric Holder came down hard on the Boy Scouts' ban on gay troop leaders, declaring their policy promotes "the worst kind of stereotypes" about the LGBT community.

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Speaking to gay rights organization Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Holder did not hold back his true feelings. Via USA Today:

"It's a relic of an age of prejudice and insufficient understanding,'' the attorney general said in prepared remarks set for delivery Tuesday evening to Lambda Legal, an advocacy group for LGBT rights.

Referring to the group's work a decade ago to challenge the termination of a gay assistant scoutmaster, Holder said that "too many organizations, policies and practices that discriminate against LGBT individuals remain persistent concerns.''

"Unfortunately, the continuation of a policy that discriminates against gay adult leaders – by an iconic American institution – only preserves and perpetuates the worst kind of stereotypes,'' he said.

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In 2013, the Boy Scouts voted to allow gay youths to join its activities, but refused to budge on a ban against gay leaders. Boy Scouts leader Robert Gates, who oversaw the dismantling of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" during his stint as Secretary of Defense, addressed the issue at last year's national council stating he supported a change but didn't feel the time was right.

Holder obviously objects to that idea. "If these men and women are fit for military service, then surely they are fit to mentor, to teach, and to serve as role models for the leaders of future generations," said Holder.

Image via Shutterstock.

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DISCUSSION

I know this will get downvoted, but the girl scouts do not allow unaccompanied adult males to lead girls' packs .... it also makes sense you wouldn't have gay adults leading teenage boys. This isn't about conflating being gay with pedophilia ... any adult of any orientation is capable of being attracted to a post-pubescent young person (which is not medically considered to be pathological or pedophilia).

I wouldn't want a straight adult male leading my 14-17 year old girl on an expedition in the woods anymore than I would want a gay guy with my 14-17 year old son. I was in scouts, and often we'd be far out in the middle of nowhere for several days, in a pretty ... er ... intimate environment. I'm pretty much all for minimizing the risk of inappropriate sexual relationships in environments like sports, scouts, etc. Having someone in a position of authority and leadership who is potentially sexually attracted to the young person is a recipe for disaster. This is much more intimate than something like high school sports coach or a high school teacher.