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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Boy Scouts Of America Delays Vote On Gay Ban

Agnus Dei Farrant |
February 6, 2013 | 3:14 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Members of the Boy Scouts of America (The Library of Virginia/Creative Commons)
Members of the Boy Scouts of America (The Library of Virginia/Creative Commons)
The Boy Scouts of America delayed its vote on excluding gay Scouts and adult leaders, which was expected Wednesday, until May at the earliest. 

The BSA’s national executive board deliberated behind closed doors over a proposal to ease the century-long ban on gays by allowing sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on gay membership, the Associated Press reported.

“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the BSA wrote in a statement on their website.

The AP reported that gay-rights leaders assailed the BSA after learning about the delay.

“Every day that the Boy Scouts of America delay action is another day that discrimination prevails,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “Young Americans, gay and straight, are hurt by the inaction associated with today’s news.”

Some supporters of the ban said they feared a wave of departures by conservative church-sponsored troops, The New York Times reported. Approximately 70 percent of Scout units are sponsored by religious denominations, according to the AP, many by conservative faiths. 

Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother who was removed as a den leader of her son’s Cub Scout pack because she’s a lesbian, told the AP that a Scout is supposed to be brave and BSA failed to be brave Wednesday.

“The failed us yet again,” she said. “Putting this off until May only ensures other gay kids and gay parents are discarded.”

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a group that organized a phone and email campaign in support of the ban, told the AP that the BSA should not postpone the decision and publicly reaffirm their current standards.

Perkins said his group has warned the BSA “about the grave consequences that would result if they were to compromise their moral standards in the face of threats from corporate elites and homosexual activists.”


Read more of Neon Tommy’s coverage on the Boy Scouts here.

Reach Executive Producer Agnus Dei Farrant here.



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