The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has unanimously approved a resolution to end the organization’s ban on gay adults working in leadership positions. The vote isn’t the first regarding homosexuality for the Boy Scouts. In 2013, the Boy Scouts voted to allow openly gay boys to become scout. Now, the same will hold true for leaders in the Boy Scouts of America. Once the resolution is ratified on July 27, 2015, the ban will officially be lifted and openly gay leaders will be able to participate in leadership positions within the organization.
The BBC reports that the vote to end the ban on gay leaders in the Boy Scouts organization was unanimous with an expected date of ratification on July 27, 2015. Earlier this year when the issue was being debated, former U.S. defense secretary and BSA president Robert Gates, made known his stance on gay leaders in the organization. Gates said he thought the ban should be lifted as it was “no longer sustainable.” It appears the organization listened as the vote was unanimously in favor of ending the age-old ban on homosexual leaders. Gates’ stance should come as no surprise, as he was one of the main people responsible for ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the U.S. military regarding gay servicemen and servicewomen.
The BSA’s official statement regarding the vote notes that sexual relations for adult members should be “moral” and “honorable,” but turns over the definition of these items to the local charter chapter.
“The Boy Scouts of America rejects any interference with or condemnation of the diverse beliefs of chartering organizations on matters of marriage, family, and sexuality. The message of Scouting is one of toleration and respect for different religious and moral conclusions in this matter, acknowledging that reasonable minds may honorably differ. Any effort to exclude or penalize chartering organizations based on their beliefs or policies regarding marriage, family, or sexuality is contrary to the Boy Scouts of America’s commitment to religious freedom and respect for the beliefs and convictions of its chartered organizations.”
The statement does not directly note that homosexuality is allowed within adult leadership positions; however, it notes that all decisions for leadership should be left to the specific charter chapter. It goes on to say that chapters will not be denied based on their interpretation of these rules set forth.
“No local council may refuse to process or approve a charter application or in any way limit the participation of a Scouting unit based upon the chartered organization’s exercise of its right to select adult leaders as provided in this resolution.”
What do you think about the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow gay men to hold positions in leadership without discrimination? Is it a step in the right direction since the organization already allowed openly gay members?
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