The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on
Monday announced it's considering ending its ban on gay scouts and
Deron Smith, national spokesman for the
BSA, said in a statement that the national board could vote to end
the policy as early as next week.
“Scouting has always been in an
ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the
best interest of the organization and the young people we serve,”
Smith said. “Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing
the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.
This would mean there would no longer be any national policy
regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that
oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select
leaders consistent with each organization's mission, principles, or
religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a
local unit that best meets the needs of their families.”
“The policy change under discussion
would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that
oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue.
The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position
to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA
would not require any chartered organization to act in ways
inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or
religious beliefs,” he added.
Gay rights groups welcomed the possible
change but added that they would rather see a consistent national
“We would much rather that the Boy
Scouts have adopted a national nondiscrimination policy, but this is
definitely a step in that right direction,” Fred Sainz, vice
president for communications for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),
An estimated 70 percent of Scout troops
are affiliated with a church or religious group.