- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
- Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland
- Obama to give Africa $38M, but tells young leaders: Stop ‘making excuses’ for economy
Boy Scouts will not allow gays to join
Question of the Day
The Boy Scouts of America said Tuesday it would keep its policy that does not “grant membership” to open or avowed homosexuals or persons who engage in behavior that would become “a distraction to the mission” of the century-old organization for boys, teens and men.
Critics immediately denounced the decision, saying a “secret” committee of 11 people shouldn’t have the final say in an issue like this. But Boy Scouting officials are letting it be known that, after two years of discussions, the policy is going to stand.
“After careful consideration of a resolution asking the Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its long-standing membership standards policy, today the organization affirmed its current policy, stating that it remains in the best interest of Scouting,” leaders said.
There will be “no further action taken on the resolution,” added the organization, referring to a resolution submitted in March by a voting member of the Boy Scouts that asked it to revise its policy disallowing openly gay youth and adults to participate in the Boy Scouts.
The unanimous decision to keep the current membership rules was reached after nearly two years of examination by an hoc panel of volunteers and professional leaders with a diversity of perspectives and opinions, leaders said.
The committee’s work and conclusion is that “this policy reflects the beliefs and perspectives of the BSA’s members, thereby allowing Scouting to remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth.”
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” said Bob Mazzuca, the organization’s chief Boy Scout executive. “While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society,” he said.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said Tuesday that the Boy Scouts’ decision “is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions.”
“With the country moving toward inclusion,” Mr. Griffin said, “the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
Supporters of an Ohio lesbian mother seeking to be reinstated as a den leader said they would deliver some 314,000 signatures on behalf of her and other gay youth and adults Wednesday at Boy Scouts headquarters in Irving, Texas.
“A secret committee of 11 people can’t ignore the hundreds of thousands of people around the country — including thousands of Eagle Scouts, Scout families and former Scouts — that want the ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders removed,” said Jennifer Tyrrell, who pulled her 7-year-old son out of Cub Scouts after she was dropped as a den leader in April.
“The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy. There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions,” said Zach Walhs, an Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality.
Separately, on Sunday, Eric Jones, 19, lost his job as a counselor at a Missouri Boy Scout camp after he told the camp director he was gay.
The camp director “said I was deserving to be there, but he had to follow the policy of BSA,” Mr. Jones told the New York Daily News. The newspaper also noted that Mr. Jones’ conversation with the camp director “was filmed and will be featured” in a upcoming documentary on discrimination against gays, called “Second Class Citizens.”
In response to the policy announcement, the executive committee of the BSA National Executive Board said, “Scouting believes that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together to achieve the life-changing benefits to youth through Scouting.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Cheryl Wetzstein covers family and social issues as a national reporter for The Washington Times. She has been a reporter for three decades, working in New York City and Washington, D.C. Since joining The Washington Times in 1985, she has been a features writer, environmental and consumer affairs reporter, and assistant business editor.
Beginning in 1994, Mrs. Wetzstein worked exclusively ...
- Events honoring 20th National Parents' Day reaffirm family
- '50 Shades' movie trailer outrages anti-porn groups
- Tougher clinic rules lead to drop in Texas abortions
- David Tyree hired by Giants in a move bashed by gay-rights groups
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
Latest Blog Entries
- Gay therapy ban author seeks Calif. House seat
- Transgender 'bathroom law' gets 5,000 more signatures
- Pro-life, stem-cell bill signed into law by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
- N. Dakota lawmakers approve tough abortion bill
- Pope Benedict XVI's successor should allow priests to get a new title: Husband, poll finds
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- D.C. police chief orders officers not to arrest legal gun owners carrying weapons in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq