A new policy allowing openly gay youth
in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) takes effect January 1.
Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive
board member who chairs the policy implementation committee, told the
AP that he hopes implementation will be a non-event.
“My hope is there will be the same
effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare,” Haddock said. “It's
business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward.”
Haddock added that fallout over the
policy has been minimal.
“There hasn't been a whole lot of
fallout. If a church said they wouldn't work with us, we'd have a
church right down the street say, 'We'll take the troop,'” Haddock
The policy change only affects gay
Scouts; openly gay adults remain banned from the program.
Scouts are not allowed to engage in
sexual conduct and BSA policy prohibits members from using “Scouting
to promote or advance any social or political position or agenda,
including on the matter of sexual orientation.”
The policy change prompted a Florida
man to launch Trail Life USA, a Boy Scouts alternative.
John Stemberger formed OnMyHonor.net to
lobby BSA officials against allowing gay Scouts. He announced that
he was working on the faith-based alternative following passage of
the policy in May.
Stemberger is quoted as saying by NBC
News that Trail Life would be open to gay youths and adults who don't
“carry a rainbow flag.”
“If a young man has a same-sex
attraction he would not be turned away in the program, but he's not
going to be allowed to kind of openly flaunt it and carry a rainbow
said. “There is not going to be any kind of witch hunt in our
organization for people and what their sexual orientations are.
We're going to focus on sexual purity, not sexual orientation.”