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Boy Scouts May End Ban on Gay Leaders, Scouts

The Boy Scouts of America affirmed its ban on gay scouts and leaders in July of 2012.

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America has told USA Today that the organization may announce a change to its policy on gay scouts and leaders as early as next week.

The spokesperson said BSA would allow gay scouts and troop leaders, which is an about face for the organization.

"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.

In July 2012, the Boy Scouts of America confirmed its ban of gays from the organization. The longtime ban, which was reaffirmed after a two-year review, banned gay boys from being Boy Scouts and gay adults from serving as troop leaders.

According to The New York Times, the decision came after years of debate. In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld 5-4 the right of the Boy Scouts to expel a gay assistant scoutmaster, saying that as a private organization, it had the right to decide what values it wanted to inculcate.

The proposed new policy would leave decisions on membership and leadership up to the Scouts' 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civic groups.

Smith told USA Today:

Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs.

Do you support or oppose the Boy Scouts' decision to change course on its ban of gay scouts and leaders?

MikeyParks January 28, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Sic transit gloria mundi. There go the Boy Scouts. No offense to homosexuals, but I wouldn't send my boy there. If some Priests can't avoid temptation, why would anyone else?
Patrick Crowley January 29, 2013 at 06:53 AM
No Homosexual Scout Leaders! Their orientation is a perversion and bringing in a perversion is dangerous!
Ed January 29, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Are you folks serious? There are perverts and criminals in all walks of life. Does that mean you don't trust women with your boy scouts? Teachers? C'mon - you are just being ignorant and bigoted.
Jane January 29, 2013 at 03:19 PM
This is pure speculation on my part, and I would be interested in hearing the actual non-biased statistics on child abuse within the homosexual community. My guess is that they are either equal to or lower than the heterosexual community. People are people. I would have no problem whatsoever with my son having a scout leader or teacher that is gay. It would not make me nervous in the least.
Thomas Gibson January 29, 2013 at 04:10 PM
I have been involved in the BSA for years. There are already gay people in it. They are just like the rest of us, some good, some bad. They should have the same rights as the rest of us. If you want to be in the BSA, good for you. Our boys need it, it is for them and if you can help please come and do so.
Dino McDonnell January 29, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Ed, the ignorance here is not accepting the fact that homosexuals are sexual deviants who are trying their hardest for society to accept their immoral sexual behavior as normal and allow teaching it to our children in schools and anywhere else they can get a sympathetic ear.
Eric January 29, 2013 at 06:44 PM
If Scouting policy is being followed for two leaders at all times, your boys are safer with the scouts than they are in your church.
Ed January 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM
@ Dino - I pity you. It must take a lot of energy to sustain that much hatred, ignorance and bias. You have a right to your opinion - this is after all the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Dino McDonnell January 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM
Ed, it is not an opinion, it is fact and you refuse to accept it.
Steve January 30, 2013 at 01:56 PM
@Dino- Please define sexual deviant. Is it anything that you deem outside the norm? So, if anyone engages in activity that is not the pure, wholesome sex you engage in they are a deviant? Maybe you should demonstrate for all of us- you seem very interested in what goes on in other peoples' bedrooms so you won't mind if we take a peek into yours, right?
Dino McDonnell February 01, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Steve, sexual deviant is already a well-defined. It includes others as well as homosexuals. It is any abnormal sexual activity. But you already knew that didn’t you.
RDBet February 01, 2013 at 07:22 PM
....So Dino - you prefer your sexual deviants to be married men in heterosexual relationships with kids of their own - like many in the history of child abuse with the BSA...
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:19 PM
An open, authentic gay person is not a threat to kids. They have no interest, but also will be watched, and they know it, while a person interested in molesting children will do everything to try to hide their unacceptable behavior, (like becoming a priest.) Isn't it far better to know which scouts and leaders are gay than force them to remain in a closet?
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Your prejudice is irrational and scientifically unsupportable. Gay people have always existed, and every mainstream medical and mental health organization in the country understand being gay is a normal expression of being human for a minority of the population. “Research over several decades has demonstrated that sexual orientation ranges along a continuum, from exclusive attraction to the other sex to exclusive attraction to the same sex. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding.” (APA)
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Instead of making gay scouts and leaders hide and deny who they really are, wouldn't it be better to know, and allow them to be authentically human? An open, authentic gay person is not a threat to kids. They are not interested, but they also know they will be watched, while a person interested in molesting children will do everything to try to hide their unacceptable behavior. Not only does anti-gay discrimination and prejudice result in pressure to keep secrets and be dishonest, is causes needless stress resulting in emotional and physical harm: "Prejudice and discrimination have social and personal impact." "The widespread prejudice, discrimination, and violence to which lesbians and gay men are often subjected are significant mental health concerns. Sexual prejudice, sexual orientation discrimination, and antigay violence are major sources of stress for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. Although social support is crucial in coping with stress, antigay attitudes and discrimination may make it difficult for lesbian, gay, and bisexual people to find such support." (APA)
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:42 PM
"No, lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder." http://www.apa.org/topics/sexuality/orientation.aspx
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:48 PM
"In up to 50 percent of reported cases, offenders are adolescents. In 82 percent of accusations recently studied the accused offender was a heterosexual partner of a close relative of the child's. Researchers estimate that between 96 to 100 percent of accused abusers are recognizably heterosexual. Another study found that almost half of offending fathers and stepfathers also abused children outside their family. http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/publications-a-z/410-child-sexual-abuse-i-an-overview

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