The Boy Scouts of America will no longer ban gay kids, only gay leaders. Baby steps? Meh.
Obviously not excluding gay members is better than doing so, but the underlying message is still "being gay is wrong" if adult leaders have to be straight. This feels like a grudging attempt to appease the public; the BSA has been under intense pressure for its antiquated, homophobic protocol.
On Friday, the BSA (via the AP) said it made the change due to extensive surveys sent out beginning in February to around 1 million members of the Scouting community.
"While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting," a BSA's statement said. Depressingly, respondents supported the BSA's current policy by a margin of 61 percent to 34 percent, although a majority of younger parents and teens opposed the policy.
"The proposed 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," the statement said.
Okay, yes, fine. But how can the BSA still justify the ban on adults? Because most units are sponsored by religious groups — the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches — and those organizations don't want any gay adults corrupting the scouts. Ah, irony.
Image via AP.