Boy Scouts May Allow Local Troops to Set Policy on Gays

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 29, 2013 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Boy Scouts May Allow Local Troops to Set Policy on Gays

Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein , THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Gay-rights groups were elated Monday after the Boy Scouts of America announced that it was considering dropping its long-standing national policy of disallowing open homosexuals from participating in its activities, but traditional-family groups were quick to condemn the shift.

If adopted next week, the change would permit local BSA organizations to decide how to address this issue at their level.

The pulse of equality is strong in America, and today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination, said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. Our nation and its leaders respect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens, and it's time the Boy Scouts echo those values.

Zach Wahls, a gay Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality, said the proposed change would be an incredible step forward in the right direction. His group estimates that 11 local BSA councils already have taken a stand against the policy, and more would do so if it was lifted.

The Family Research Council, however, urged the BSA to maintain its principled positions.

The mission of the Boy Scouts is 'to instill values in young people' and 'prepare them to make ethical choices,' and the Scouts' oath includes a pledge 'to do my duty to God' and keep himself 'morally straight,' said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

It is entirely reasonable and not at all unusual for those passages to be interpreted as requiring abstinence from homosexual conduct, he said.

If the BSA board capitulates to the bullying of homosexual activists, added Mr. Perkins, the Boy Scouts' legacy of producing great leaders will become yet another casualty of moral compromise. The Boy Scouts should stand firm in their timeless values and respect the right of parents to discuss these sexual topics with their children.

According to a November Gallup/USA Today poll, the American public does not support lifting the BSA ban, which was reaffirmed in July.

Asked Do you think the Boy Scouts of America should or should not allow openly gay adults to serve as Boy Scout leaders, 52 percent of 1,105 adults said no, should not, while 42 percent said yes, should and 6 percent had no opinion, according to the poll.

The BSA announcement was made Monday by spokesman Deron Smith, who said that the organization is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Boy Scouts May Allow Local Troops to Set Policy on Gays


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?