The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have officially announced that they are re-considering their ban against gay individuals from participating in the organization. But the ban will still apply to adults.
The BSA has been under a lot of pressure to change their policy regarding gay individuals wanting to work or volunteer for the organization.
The BSA announced on Friday that they went through “the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history” this February to improve on some of their policies. They also announced in the statement that they have noticed a significant change in American’s views on homosexuality in the past three years.
The BSA’s members and former members had an overwhelming change of heart when it came to policies against homosexual scouts. The BSA announced in the statement, “the one scenario with which overwhelming majorities of parents, teens, and members of the Scouting community strongly agree is that it would be unacceptable to deny an openly gay Scout an Eagle Scout Award solely because of his sexual orientation.”
The BSA’s Executive Committee sent out a proposed resolution that will either be passed or rejected by the members of The Scout’s Nation Council meeting the week of May 20th at BSA’s headquarters in Irving, Texas.
The new policy, if passed, will take affect Jan. 1, 2014.
The policy states:
“Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
The above policy only applies to youth. The remaining policy for adults who want to work or volunteer for BSA says they cannot be openly gay.
The policy remains:
“The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and abide by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. While the BSA does not proactively inquire about sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”
Many are in support of lifting the ban BSA has against homosexuals serving as leaders. On the other hand, over 80 percent of the BSA’s Utah council is in support of the BSA policy and have an online petition urging BSA to keep the ban.