Quick Hit: Boy Scouts proposing to lift ban on gay scouts

This is a guest post from Tobias Rodriguez. Tobias originally hails from Texas and now lives in New York where he works in social media at a reproductive health organization.

Good news! Boy Scout officials have proposed to lift the ban on gay scouts at a National Scouts’ meeting the week of May 20. But here’s the bad news: the Boy Scouts of America will still deny membership to employees and volunteers who are “open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

GLAAD has been the most vocal proponent of BSA’s policy change. GLAAD successfully convinced Carly Rae Jepson and Train to cancel their music performances at the National Scouts Jamboree, and Madonna made a splash at GLAAD’s NYC media awards last month when she dressed up as a Cub Scout to protest the policy.

While GLAAD’s campaign had some mixed reviews, at this point, lifting the ban on gay scouts is welcome news. What’s not so welcome? The ban on gay scout leaders. It’s as if BSA is proposing that gay and lesbian adults are bad role models, reinforcing old stereotypes that homosexuality is a “distraction” as opposed to a valid sexual orientation. If the Boy Scouts are to truly rear tough scouts, let’s give them good, diverse role models they can identify with and look up to, regardless of their sexualities.


New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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