Christian conservatives have criticized
a Boy Scouts of America (BSA) proposal to partially lift its ban on
openly gay scouts and leaders.
The recommendation from the BSA's
executive committee would keep the current ban on openly gay adult
leaders but open scouting to gay youth. The proposal is expected to
be presented to the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Scouts'
National Council when it meets next month.
The Boy Scouts on Friday said that
results from surveys on the issue found that parents under the age of
50 and a majority of teenagers oppose the current policy of excluding
OnMyHonor.net, the coalition of
Christian conservatives formed to lobby the Boy Scouts on the issue,
condemned the proposal, saying the group had caved in to outside
“This cleverly-worded resolution
tries to dodge criticism from gay activists but still creates a
myriad of problems for how to manage and ensure the safety and
security of the boys in the program,” said founder John Stemberger.
“The current membership policy of Scouting, which is backed by
more than 100 years of tradition, allows anyone to participate
irrespective of sexual orientation, but only disallows the open and
aggressive promotion of homosexuality and political agendas.”
Karen England, executive director of
the California-based Capitol Resource Institute, called the proposal
a “betrayal” in an email to supporters.
“What the homosexual lobby did not
accomplish in the highest court of the United States is now being
accomplished in the boardroom,” England said. “A nonstop barrage
of accusations and name calling seems to be working against a once
Gay rights advocates also criticized
the Scouts for failing to allow openly gay leaders.
“What this resolution appears to be
doing is reinforcing the outrageous idea that gay people somehow pose
a threat to kids, which experts like the American Psychological
Association have dismissed for more than a decade,” GLAAD said in a