A policy which bans openly gay scouts and leaders from The Boy Scouts of America is to be retained, following a two year review where the organisation debated the future of the policy.
In 2010, a review into the rule was commissioned after people urged for it to be reconsidered, and to decide whether it was still a policy that was in the best interests for the group.
According to a 1991 BSA Position Statement, ‘homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.’
The organisation also made it clear that, ‘in the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.’
In a statement regarding the policy review, Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts said, ‘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.’
‘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.’
The confidential review reached a unanimous decision that the rule was the ‘best policy’, according to the Boy Scouts’ spokesman Deron Smith. They said the outcome would allow their scouts to ‘remain focused on its mission and the work it is doing to serve more youth’.
So, if you are openly gay, you would still not be granted membership to the Boy Scouts of America.
What do you think of the decision? Is this really sending out the right message to young boys in America? Tweet us at @sosogay and tell us your thoughts.