Boy Scouts reaffirm the exclusion of gays, but the battle continues
The Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed its exclusion of gay scouts and scout leaders, but the battle is hardly over.
The Supreme Court may have ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts can exclude gays, and the Scouts’ policy may have been emphatically reaffirmed on Tuesday, but public pressure will continue.
The LA Times article, titled “Boy Scout’s wrong path,” point to the religious members of the scouts, describing them as having “a dim view of homosexuality, especially the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches.”
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is one of two Boy Scouts of America board members who supports amending the policy, and he is on track to become president of the Scout’s national board in 2014. Stephenson, as well as fellow board member James Turley, the CEO of Ernst & Young, have spoken out in support of diversity and inclusion for the Boy Scouts. In a statement released in June, Turley said “the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse” and “I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.” Stephenson, meanwhile, has said “we don’t agree with every policy of every organization we support,” and said he encourages change “from within.”
The NY Times published an Eagle Scout’s letter to the editor which stated “…it is painful yet necessary for me to renounce my Eagle Scout award and my membership in the Scouts and its affiliated Order of the Arrow. I can no longer be an “alumnus” of a group that has reaffirmed its bigotry.” – Terry Perlin.
Meanwhile a contrary opinion can be found on conservative websites, like The Blaze: “I was in the Boy Scouts. I am so happy they made the right decision. I was ready to right them off completely. I think all the gay men need to get together and create an organization for little boys who are gay. Then the gay men can take your little gay kids out and show them what camping is all about. I’m certain they would learn many life lessons.” – a post by Isthereadifference.
Expect more legal battles, a lawsuit or two and more challenges over the coming years.