Nearly a year ago, the Boy Scouts of America completed a confidential two-year review, and made an important announcement about its support for anti-gay discrimination: they weren’t changing anything. Today, they’ve had a change of heart.
In July 2007, the Boy Scouts said their standing policy banning gay scouts and leaders reflected the views of “a majority of our membership,” and should stay in place for the indefinite future. The group convened a committee of 11 senior volunteers and professional leaders to oversee the review, and the panel reached a “unanimous consensus” that it was the “best policy.”
Today, with the nation’s attention on Boston, the Scouts announced some of its discriminatory policy wasn’t so great after all.
Officials of the Boy Scouts of America said Friday that they propose ending their ban on openly gay scouts but continuing to bar gay adults from serving as leaders. […]
“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” the proposed policy states, but the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.”
The proposed resolution also emphasizes that “scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of scouting age is contrary to the virtues of scouting.”
The shift reflects the wishes of the organization’s leaders, but must still be approved by the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Scouts’ National Council. The panel will meet in Texas next month.