Boy Scouts reaffirm ban on gay leaders, members
The Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed and upheld its policy excluding gays despite protests and petitions by critics. The 11-member special committee was formed discreetly by leaders in 2010 and “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” the organization’s national spokesman, Deron Smith, told the Associated Press.
The committee included scout executives and adult volunteers and was unanimous in the decision to continue the long-standing discriminatory policy. The policy excluding gays was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000, provided the Scouts did not use public funds.
The result of the committee’s decision means the Scouts’ national board will take no action on a recently proposed resolution asking for the consideration of allowing gays and lesbians in the organization.
The Scouts’ Chief Executive, Bob Mazzuca, argued that a majority of Scouts and families support the policy, which applies to leaders and scouts.
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,” Mazzuca told the AP. “We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
The latest campaign challenging the Scout’s discriminatory policy involves Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mother of a 7-year-old Cub Scout, who was forced out of her position as a den mother because she is lesbian. Change.org, an online activism website, circulated a petition gathering more than 300,000 signatures asking the Scouts to reinstate Tyrrell and stop enforcing the policy. The petition will be delivered to the Scouts’ national headquarters in Irving, Texas.