The Boyscouts of America doesn’t want to change–despite the major political and demographic shifts in this country and overwhelming evidence that confirms LGBT people are not contagious and will make your babies gay. The 11 Scout leaders that convened for two years to deliberate over this decision announced today that they will continue their age-old ban on LGBT people from Boy Scouts.
The Boy Scouts of America announced todaythat it will continue its long-standing policy of discrimination against LGBT scouts and scout leaders and will take no action on proposals to reconsider that policy. This comes despite growing pressure to lift the ban from Eagle Scouts, an Ohio mom removed from her position as a Cub Scout den leader purely because she is a lesbian, and two prominent national board members.
A spokesman said a secret 11-person committee, appointed in 2010 to study the issue, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.” The group dismissed the announcements by Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, both members of the BSA national board, that the group ought to lift its ban.
As someone who was involved in Girl Scouts for many more years than it was cool to be, it was through Girl Scouts that I learned a lot about inclusion, diversity and had access to things I otherwise wouldn’t have. Similarly, Boy Scouts provides a unique opportunity for youth to gain experiences they otherwise wouldn’t have. But this decision indicates that as an organization they are outdated. They are not speaking to the diversity of interests that young people have, they clearly cling to a fading gender binary and now they want young people to believe that some lifestyles are more valued and acceptable than others.
Shame on you Boy Scouts–there are so many more pressing things we should be mobilizing our children to think and care about, instead of fostering hatred. And considering the tremendous pressure that gay youth face and the high rates of depression and suicide reported amongst gay youth–this decision is downright irresponsible.