The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday reaffirmed its policy that excludes gays from participating in the organization. The panel had spent two-years reviewing its policy and during that time was met with various protests from gay rights groups from all parts of the United States.
According to national spokesman Deron Smith in an interview with the Associated Press a special committee of the organizations top 20 leaders “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.”
The group decided that its long-standing policy which was protected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 should stand.
Who represented the committee and its decision was not revealed, although the organization claims it included “a diversity of perspectives and opinions.”
Scout CEO Bob Mazzuca said in a statement that most Scout families support the anti-gay policy which applies to Scout leaders and Boy Scouts.
According to Mazzuca:
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting. We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
Not all Scout executives agree with the decision, Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson have openly said they would attempt to make the organization more “gay friendly’ in the years to come. Both of those executives work for company’s that have been given high-praise by gay rights activists.
Stephenson may be the most likely person to turn around the Boy Scouts Of America’s decision since he will take over the national board in 2014.
300,000 signatures made to a Change.org petition have asked the Boys Scouts to remove the ban on gay members and to allow kicked out members back into the organization.