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Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

Update (Jan. 31): The BSA has provided this page for leaving feedback about the membership policy. Alternatively, you can email feedback@scouting.org.

Update (Feb. 5): Thanks to everyone for their valuable feedback. After more than 2,100 comments in the past week, I’ve determined that it’s time to close the comment thread on this post.


The Boy Scouts of America is discussing whether to remove the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation, the organization announced today.

If approved, the move would end any national policy regarding sexual orientation of members and hand the responsibility of accepting members and selecting leaders to chartered organizations. Chartered organizations could then handle this task in accordance with their mission, principles, and/or religious beliefs.

The news was announced in an email sent by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock to all National Council employees this afternoon and confirmed through a media statement posted to Scouting.org.

“Let me be clear that the change under discussion would allow chartered organizations to determine how to address this issue,” Brock writes. “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

Discussion on the proposed policy change will continue during the National Executive Board meeting in Texas next week.

If the board takes action related to the membership policy, Brock says, it will be promptly communicated to all professionals and volunteers.

And I’ll post the news here on Bryan on Scouting, as well.

2,111 thoughts on “Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

  1. I guess the bsa lost its backbone; We will have to change our oath so why dont we just disband the bsa; If a majority threaten to shut down our troops and packs the bsa will bend; we ALL KNOW that the National BSA is only interested in how much MONEY THEY CAN MAKE

    • Should the worst come of this, it will also show that they’re very interested in avoiding the continuing criticism coming from fringe radical groups and the secular media. A Scout is brave. Don’t back down!

      • a scout is brave. stand up to a discriminatory policy that excludes people because of who they naturally are.

      • A Scout is Obedient.
        If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.

        • So then leaders and Scouts, according to you, who were gay but yet knowingly took positions and awards should have worked at changing the rules and not disobeyed them with lies and deceit?

  2. This is good. But it’s not enough. Leaving it to Charters is a mistake. We’ll end up with regions where Charters don’t change existing policy – thus forcing LGBT Scouts/Volunteers to drive out of their area to find a tolerant unit. And you’ll have situations where Scouts are treated inhospitably at larger events such as Camporees or Jamborees. How will parent’s know that a unit is tolerant? Will unit flags get a pink triangle on them? Your average teenager doesn’t care – why should we? Open it up across the board. Review GtSS if needed and enforce it and background checks. Let kids enter the program and feel welcome. That’s all I’ll say this time around – I commented a lot last time we discussed this in Bryan’s forums and I really just don’t have the energy to argue with those that are close minded and hateful anymore.

    • Then that makes you just as close minded as the people you are calling it. It’s bad enough that National is considering this but then to force units to have to accept it despite the opinions of the members of that unit is unfair.

    • We have about 25-30 teenage scouts in our troop. I would not describe any of them as average. They are all God minded above average young men that work hard to achieve scouting excellence. Next we will have to soften program requirements for the not so masculine and emotionally unstable individuals. This is only the beginning.

        • duty to god and country. trustworthy, reverent and clean. contrary to what a lot of people here seem to think, LGBT individuals are perfectly capable of adhering to the scout oath and law.

      • I bet one of those boys is a closet gay, and all your rancor is eating away at him, and by 25 he’ll have committed suicide because everyone around him spews nonsense hate about gay people.

        Just goes to show that you can’t cure stupid.

    • Gays won’t have to drive far. They can form their own units right where they live. They could have already done this with the Campfire Boys/Girls organization. The pink triangle sounds good. I agree leaving it to the individual units won’t work. Gay and straight units will have to mix at council and national events.

      • If BSA leaders allow or encourage the kind of conversation that would result in the kind of hate that would make “open” units clash with “closed” ones, then there is something fundamentally wrong — and it is NOT the open units.

  3. I’m sorry, but I find this very disheartening. AS an Eagle Scout and a Scout leader, I would not support this move at all. Scouting always stood on principle that we are a PRIVATE organization. If another group wanted to allow gay youth and men into it, then fine, let them start their own organization. But as a Scouting movement, we have an obligation first and foremost to protect the young boys and men we serve. Sexuality should never be a part of it. Just look at the example that the Girl Scouts are now in with huge declining numbers and a strong agenda that goes against everything they once stood for as well. Is this what Scouting is becoming? I sincerely hope not.

    Granted I have been in Scouting long enough to see many young people that have come out of the closet over the years and have left the Scouting movement because of its stance. I’ve also seen a number of people stay a part of Scouting who should have been removed a lot sooner because of their own sexual preferences and the damage caused to other young boys because of that. Is this going to be the doorway to pedophilia? I urge the National offices to use extreme caution. Think about the boys we serve and the steps we have been taking to protect them in all circumstances. We are not perfect by any means….but we are always trying to improve on the system.

    Again, if a group would like to start up a youth organization dedicated to gay youth and men, so be it, but don’t drag the B.S.A. down with it.

    • you’re right, sexuality shouldn’t be a part of it. which is why there should never have been a ban in the fist place.

      also… fyi. most pedophiles have wives.

  4. Whether you are for or against being gay and gay rights isn’t what’s most important that all the boys get to be a part of the organization? For me those of you opposing this is like telling my son he can’t be a scout because he isn’t LDS. Where is that logic? A child should have the right to be a part of scouts at an early age but then to get told No! Your hard work and determination is irrelevant because you choose (which from what I understand it isn’t a choice) to be gay. I believe this is a step in the right decision.

  5. Amen! It is time for this change. As the Charter Org. Exec. we will welcome this change and the privilege to welcome a group of young men and their parents back into Scouting.
    As to Scouting giving into the media – far from it. They are recognizing that funding agencies no longer support organizations that discriminate. Nor do many charter organizations want to be involved with Scouting as they discriminate against a specific group of people.
    This is welcome news.

  6. So National is relieving itself, and all the local councils from any future litigation expense and passing it on to the Charter orginizations to deal with and absorb. Status Quo, I will pray for the National committee when this actually comes up for a vote, I can tell you I know alot of seasoned scouters that will retire if this comes to pass.

    • Not to mention lost units because of leaders and youth (because many youth do have an opinion on the matter)…

    • Good, let the bigots retire. Its time we recognize reality. And science. Homosexuals aren’t devient or immoral. I know plenty of immoral heterosexuals and it has nothing to do with what they do in the bedroom. I bet all the ‘seasoned’ scouters are so clueless that they don’t even know hermaphradites exist…you know, people born with both sets of sexual anatomy. So, what sex are they? What gender are they? What sexual orientation do they have? Wake up, buddy. Biology isn’t black and white. It can be a little gray here and there…and sometimes pink. That doesn’t make a person immoral….unless you judge people without knowing them. Like casting stones, do you? WWJD

      • New International Version (NIV)
        13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads

      • You not tolerating people who have a problem with the proposed change makes you just as big of a bigot.

        Some of us have issues that are more related to all the difficulties and legal exposure we are going to encounter. Same as if the BSA lifted the rule on males and females sleeping and bathing separately.

        This is not a minor change. This is a monumental change in philosophy that looks like it is going to get shoved through.

      • Scientifically speaking, hermaphroditic characteristics are a result of biological corruption, a mistake in the DNA. I would stop likening them to homosexuality if I were you, unless you really think that homosexuality is a condition of a similar nature.

        • Yes, homosexuality is likely a ‘biological corruption’. Does that mean we shouldn’t treat them with dignity and love?

          Oscar Pistorious is an Olympian who was born without the fibula bones in both legs…an obvious ‘biological corruption’ but we treat him equally. Some people are born with cerebral palsay, a biological corruption, yet many have magnificant minds simply trapped in a body that cannot cooperate.

          So, is ‘gay’ what biology sets out for? No. But that doesn’t make them incapable of love, commitment, honor, virtue, honesty, kindness, respect, trust, loyalty…and reverence. I’m not stipulating that homosexuality is a handicap or anything like that, but i admit its not ‘perfect
          biology. But who has that? The woman with a mustache? The Danny Davito men of the world? The guy with ED? The infertile woman?

    • A pretty accurate description of what is happening. The same thing happened in 1974 when BSA National go tired of carrying the water for the various all-white troops that existed across the country, and decided to pass the decision down to the local level. It wasn’t too long after that all-white troops stopped existing. Most think that was ultimately a good thing, although you can still find detractors from time to time.

  7. I absolutely think the ban should be lifted for boys. That should not even be a question. So please, even if it isn’t fully lifted, make sure no more boys are denied their Eagle or other earned awards because they came out as homosexual.

    • Sorry, gay youth who have gone through the program knowing the policy are not being “trustworthy” neither are the leaders who hide the fact that they knew. Its sad that the leaders and their parents taught the youth to lie.

      • Why do you assume they knew? They start as young as SIX. If you are saying they knew at six, then they are clearly born that way and shouldn’t be discriminated against. And I know no one in my Cub Scout Pack is discussing gays in the unit – not appropriate for boys – so they may not even know the policy until sometime in high school.

        They could EASILY not know the policy existed until sometime in high school.

        They could also be in denial even to themselves, and reach the point that they couldn’t deny or hide it and be denied awards they had already completed.

      • They hide it because of people like you! You teach them to lie because they hear the hate from you. They don’t want to disappoint people like you because you will not accept them for how God made them.

  8. There is all of this discussion in society against bullying. BSA is not bullying anyone by clearly stating their policy. Those who don’t agree with it do not have to join. Anyone who would like to have a scouting organization with different policies is free to start one, like American Heritage Girls did when they disagreed with Girl Scouts’ policies. To try to force a private organization to change their long-held beliefs and policies to better align with a small, vocal faction of society who disagrees with them is bullying.

  9. Who will be responsible for any possible homosexual molestation of scouts? The chartered organization or BSA? The vast majority of cases in the past have been homosexual in nature.

    • you say they’ve been homosexual because its typically a boy molested by a man? well, in scouts… sure it is. but many of those men that molest boys don’t identify as homosexual. they are married and have children of their own. many times their own children are among their victims. preventing abuse of boys by homosexual adults will be carried out in the same way preventing abuse of boys by heterosexual adults already is. if something terrible happens, it will be dealt with in the same way that it already is. kicked out of scouts, criminally prosecuted.

  10. When this change goes through, I will end my association with the BSA. The ban came about because of leaders sexually assaulting boys. Now the BSA makes it easier for homosexual pedophiles to prey on young boys? They can’t have it both ways. And please, spare me the “not all gays are pedophiles” speech. I know that – but all pedophiles who have historically preyed on boys were homosexuals. I hope this isn’t true.

    • wait a minute – you really don’t believe that the polcy was a result of the “perversion files”? It is the other way around, BSA hid for years heterosexual leaders molesting boys. I never understood how the BSA could ban gays , but hide molesters.

      • Excuse me but a male leader molesting a boy is not heterosexual molestation it’s homosexual.

        • No, you have it all wrong – is Jerry Sandusky
          a homosexual ? Are Catholic priests who molested young boys homosexuals?

          Really? Homosexuals are not all molesters, just as all heterosexuals are molesters.

          I assume you believe that the over thousand
          male leaders in the perversion files are homosexuals ?

    • Kent, you really should do some homework. There are pedophiles in BSA NOW and the ones that I have been aware of in our council, sadly, are not homosexual, just troubled, unhealthy humans. It is time that we who believe in the wonderful mission of BSA stand up and say, yes, EVERYONE, has a right to be part of this. If standing on a soap box extolling your personal sexual practice, heterosexual or homosexual YOU do not belong in a Youth Organization. Whatever someone does in the privacy of their own home is THEIR business and has NOTHING to do with any organization. Let us understand that humans come in all packages and let’s get to know the heart of the person who believes in the values of Scouting. Let’s all see each person for the good human that they are. Wouldn’t you want someone to understand you and not prejudge you?
      I applaud the BSA for finally embracing the idea, that all of us are created equal and for the good. To be proven wrong by actions not ideology.

  11. What the BLEEP!
    Those with big bucks now OWN the Boy Scouts? So, money is all the matters Now to BSA? Who cares if UPS quit giving them money. This is the END of the Beginning. What is good is now Bad and Bad is Good. No more black and white the line begins to Grey. I’m sure all founders would be rolling over with this decision.
    Parent of 2012 Eagle.

    • Actually, biology isn’t Black and White. Are you to deny even the existence of hermaphradites? You know, or maybe you don’t, the people born with both sets of sexual anatomy? Soo, are they male or female? What’s their gender? What’s their sexual orientation?

      Have you heard of transgendered people? probably not.

      If you want to talk morality, than hold people to that standard. Hold straight and gay to the same standard of sexual conduct. Committed relationships, love, marriage? You keep pushing them under the rug and they’ll keep their relationships under the rug. Don’t give them the option of open committed relationships, and well, you won’t get it.

      Immoral….try telling a teen that he can’t be a Scout because his body doesn’t feel sexual attration to a female. He can pretend. He could pretend to like girls..and hurt those girls when it doesn’t work. I mean, when did you choose to be straight or gay? What was the date that you made a conscious decision to be straight? For me…I just sorta started liking girls in like…7th grade. Started to notice those skirts in Cathloic school. I didn’t choose…it just was.

      • The gay youth could join an organization that is centered around that belief.

        As for gender, that is determined by chromosomes, not surgical mutilation.

        • gay youth that want to be scouts don’t want to join an organization centered around being gay. they want to join an organization centered around being scouts. allowing gay scouts to join (or not be kicked out) doesn’t mean we are all going to sit around the camp fire and encourage boys to have sex with other boys. it means that gay boys will be allowed to belong in units that allow them. that’s all. nothing will change.

        • But what if the members of the unit do not want them despite being forced to be classified as “inclusive”?

        • Wait, Jo…you just agreed that being gay is a biological condition? Did you come to your senses finally? There is a LORD!

          I thought you believe it was a choice and these young boys were shameful sinners. Good to know that you believe people dont’ choose to be gay and they’re born that way…the way God made them.

        • You are so bigoted against people with religious beliefs that you are seeing it everywhere. I have not made a single religious reference supporting any opinion or statement I made.

          But sure being gay could quite obviously be from a genetic defect. I still believe some people choose to be gay as well. That is their right.

  12. Tragic! The bit about leaving things up to individual troops ignores the fact that there are combined events like competition campouts, not to mention summer camp and Jamboree.

    So much for two-deep leadership to protect kids.

        • I don’t know how it should be. But if two gay youth of the same gender that are “just friends” want to tent together, should they be allowed? Can they be buddies for going out of camp? Yes? That’s easy, right. Okay so then in Venturing, could a straight male and female who are “just friends” tent together? Could they be buddies for going out of camp?

          See, its not an easy answer.

          What if a group of gay youth are uncomfortable with tenting with a straight youth of the same gender? Should the straight youth have to camp by themselves if there were no other buddies for them? What about if a group if straight kids were not comfortable with having to tent with a gay kid? Should the gay youth have to camp by themselves if there were no other buddies for them?

          These are real issues that will come up and need to be addressed.

      • Nope! Not this change! I let my 14 yr old read the post and he feels it would be awkward meaning that the scouts asks them to use the buddy system when traversing campsites and tent buddies. He said that if they can’t control there urges where does that leave me? Will we be told if they are gay? If two leaders are gay what happens then if i get put in a situation and we are at camp? He says that while that is their choice, his would be not around them if he always has to wonder.
        A whole new can of worms would be opened! Week long summer camps…what then? Will we as members of a troop be told if a scout has declared his sexual orientation?
        Just as with AIDS – unless you are told, you don’t know! If a scout is asked is he obliged to tell the other scout?
        Same gender partners as leaders on the cub scout kevel – that creates questions and discussions with younger children that some don’t want to have until their child is older – why would we have to be forced into embracing the topic with a 7 yr old? If you don’t think they will notice, think again!
        I’m all for their equality, but with limits! They got the Girl Scouts to cave! Thus American Heritage Girls formed – the United Way pulled backing from BSA and they held their heads high, standing behind what Sir Baden Powell envisioned when he started Boy Scouts of America! He would surely be turning over in his grave if he knew what was currently being discussed! Not happy! I wonder if we as parents of scouts can speak at this meeting????

        • oh my. sure… bring AIDS into it. lets see if we can add a little more scare factor into this. you know what my 14 year old son said today when i told him about this? “good, it’s about time.”

        • She mentions aids and you freak out. You mock and disparage people’s religious views and that’s ok?

  13. This is so sad. There’s no need for BSA to change. SpiralScouts International is very inclusive in their membership. Everyone who needs a different position can join it.

    • There is another group called the Navigators that is also gay friendly.

      The problem is that the gays won’t be happy until they force themselves into every facet of our lives. They claim bigotry because we don’t accept their ways which means they don’t accept ours which is also bigotry.

      • Their (LGBT) agenda is twofold: 1. Infiltration and 2. Indoctrination. The BSA has known this for years.

      • so people who opposed slavery were bigots against those that wished to perpetuate the practice of slavery? you’re using false logic.

      • There is a difference.. they don’t care about you or your life. They care about themselves and having the same as you.. They want to share with their children the same scouting program they grew up in. the same one that taught them that a scout works to change an unjust system from the inside.

    • spiral scouts? right. because there is a chapter of that in every town in america. not a reasonable solution.

      • Please… BSA wasn’t in every town in America either when it started either. Starting your own brand of kid organization is on them. Forcing their way into our existing organization because they don’t want to make their own is not reasonable.

        • The executive board is discussing it. If they adopt the new policy, they apparently disagree with you.

  14. All this means is a “return” to when leadership was only the purview of the chartering group. They will still have the same control, and it should be of little consequence. Surely those chartering orgs that have continued issues with this will simply not allow it. Why that should effect any other group is odd, as the whole subject still remains off limits, just as it was prior to this. If it becomes a negative distraction for some reason, the sponsor can simply dismiss them as their prerogative, just as they did before it became a public distraction due to the activists..

    • Because someone will be dissatisfied that Unit X didn’t capitulate so will sue their small chartered organizations into submission. So we’ll all be forced to accept it. National is ducking and really screwing over their long time supporters.

  15. I am fully supportive of this move, and shows that the new leadership are being sensible in setting direction, you will never please everyone. the organization was in a very discrimatory direction and related press has damaged membership which will take years to repair.

  16. Church based troops will still maintain their ability to discriminate. Public school troops will be free to not be dictated to by faulty doctrine and hatred.

    • See, you continue to show hatred towards churches and units that may choose to stay traditional. Why do you insist on an all or nothing deal?

  17. This is a disappointment. The BSA is bowing into liberal political and media pressure.

    • The most popular TV news channel in the country is Fox News. More popular than all other TV news channels combined. Are you saying Fox News is responsible for this change in BSA policy?

  18. I agree to a point, a Scout that is denied Eagle (or any advancement) because of his orientation is a shame after the work has been done. I don’t agree that just because someone is homosexual means they are going to molest the Scouts, look at all the leaders that have been cast out because they were ‘outed’ – how many of them are on the lists of abusers released last year, probably not as many as one might think.

    I do wonder how the Scout Oath will be changed or will ‘morally straight’ be applied. only to don’t cheat, steal, lie.

    There’s a lot of digest and I don’t think we can do it here on this list although it’s a good place for everyone to vent. Will I turn in the membership card of myself and my four sons, most likely not. BSA will still do background checks and hopefully catch anyone that’s done it before and been charged. Just like now any adult that tries to sign up without a son in the program will get some serious suspicion as to their motivition and VERY closesly watched. The buddy system and the yearly viewing of “A Time to Tell” will be more important than ever to make sure we all stay safe.

    God made us all – some good, some bad but he still made us all – I think we all need to step back from the edge and see what National says before we jump. Look how long it’s taking to get one oath, motto, etc – I think it’s 2014, this won’t happen overnight either.

    • The Scout phrase “morally straight” was written in 1911. The use of “straight” to refer to sexuality did not start until the 1940s. The Scout Oath does not need to change — it has always meant the same thing, and it has never had anything to do with sexual orientation.

      • “I agree to a point, a Scout that is denied Eagle (or any advancement) because of his orientation is a shame after the work has been done. I don’t agree that just because someone is homosexual means they are going to molest the Scouts,…”

        Any Scout who is currently a homosexual who makes it to ANY advancement stage, could be considered not “morally straight” due to the simple fact that he IS aware of the current policy and has continued with the Pack and/or Troop.
        This has nothing to do with the fact of his orientation…but rather that he has dedceived the BSA.

        Whether you agree with that position or not, THAT would be a valid arguement for denying anyone any advancement.

        • “Any Scout who is currently a homosexual who makes it to ANY advancement stage, could be considered not “morally straight” due to the simple fact that he IS aware of the current policy and has continued with the Pack and/or Troop.”

          I would say more because he is not being Honest, he may still be straight to HIS morals.. maybe not yours.. but is he also of your religion?

  19. As an older Scout (almost Scouter), I find this to be rather disturbing. Not the policy one way or the other, but the fact that the policy exists. Sexuality should not be a discussion item for any reason what-so-ever at Scouting events. I have reprimanded most of the younger youth in my troop for making jokes or inappropriate comments about this topic (or any sexual topic for that matter).

    I know a few Scouts (now Scouters/Active Military) that are gay, and I respect them for their accomplishments as Scouts, regardless of sexual orientation, because it was never a topic that any of us approved of at Scouting events (sexual topics in general).

    I hope my Scouting career will go un-phased by this. If it does become an issue, I fear that it may ruin the program for everyone.

  20. so let me get this straight… no pun intended. People who are upset by this are angry about a policy that has only been around for… what, 30 years or so, in a 100 year old organization?? The policy was created to PROTECT the boys from molesters… i.e. to get the media off their back and protect themselves from liability. Now all of a sudden it’s a terrible thing to remove the policy????

    I have not been in Scouting very long, but from what I have learned so far, it’s about the boys learning to be self-sufficient, confident, and strong leaders. Our job is to help them on that path, but it is also to keep them safe! As long as we do that, what is the problem?

  21. No, no and no!!! … How clear can it be when God tells us through his Bible that homosexuality is WRONG… they already wormed their way into the Girl Scouts so that American Heritage Girls had to be formed, which Boy Scouts shows approval of (not the Girl Scouts anymore). If this is allowed, Boy Scouts will fall the same way of the Girls Scouts and a new organization will be formed to replace it. How sad is it that the world is coming to acceptance of this!

    • You are extremely closed minded, Laura. Common sense should tell you excluding homosexuals is wrong. You don’t need the Bible.

      • I SEE YOU ARE GAY.WHY DO YOU CARE HOW BOY SCOUTS ARE ORGINIZED.YOU WILL NEVER HAVE KIDS.AND HAVE NO SAY SO IN THIS.AS FOR JESUS.EVERT KNEE WILL BOW.THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD.

        • Calm down. Plenty of gay folks have kids. This isn’t 1965.

          My fiancé and I are exploring adoption, and I personally know of over a dozen gay/lesbian couples who’ve adopted, used in-vitro, or a surrogate to start families. I myself was a scout as a boy. Of course I was in the closet at the time, but nowadays there are courageous kids coming out earlier and earlier. Forcing them out of scouting because of something over which they have no control is mean-spirited. This is a welcome change!

        • I AGREE ERIC.I SEE A LOT OF THIS AND MANY ARE GOOD PARENTS.WELL MINDED AND RESPECTED. THE ISSUE HERE IS MOST IN THIS WORLD ,LOOK AT LEADERS ALREADY LIKE ARE THEY WEIRD AND GOING TO HURT THEIR KIDS.IN THE WRONG WAY.HAVE A GREAT WINTER ERIC,THE ADOPTION IS GREAT. I SEE A LOT OF KIDS THAT WOULD JUST WANT TO BE FED AND A PLACE TO STAY.IN THEIR LIFE.I SAY ADOPT 2 IF YOU CAN.YOU WILL SEE LIFE IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

    • The Girl Scouts are going strong, and the Boy Scouts will continue to do so if this goes through. I know lots of families, ours included, that haven’t wanted to put our sons into an organization that so hatefully bans certain types of people from participating. If the ban is lifted, we will be happy to participate.

      God also tells us in the Bible that divorce is wrong. Are there no divorced scout leaders? Gluttony, greed, covetousness… all wrong. Does the Boy Scouts screen its leaders to make sure they don’t fall prey to any of those sins? What about “love thy neighbor as thyself”? Wouldn’t that include gay people (you can treat them as equals without “condoning” homosexuality. As far as I can tell, every single anti-gay Boy Scout supporter on here is violating that one, and that came straight from Jesus’ lips. So from where I’m sitting, if the Boy Scouts were truly biblical, not a single one of you would be allowed to remain.

      Start loving and stop fearing.

      • Angie, everyone sins, the Bible tells us that. It’s in our nature due to the Fall of man. However, homosexuals choose to live a life of sin and can have a negative influence on families. (This article backs that statement: http://creation.com/arguments-against-homosexuality)

        Yes, Angie, the Bible tells us to love our neighbors. Thus, we should treat homosexuals with respect because they are children of God just like the rest of us. However, that does not mean that we have agree with their behavior or change our morals because of them.

        If you don’t want to put your kids in an organization that exercises its right to restrict membership, that is just fine. Both you and the BSA should be able to act freely in that regard.

        • no one is asking you to change your morals. you don’t have to become gay if this change is implemented. you simply can’t say that someone else can’t belong if they are gay.

        • No, it does not have a negative impact on families, and, no, they are not “choosing” it any more than you chose heterosexuality (or did you?). At any rate, I wasn’t saying we needed to “agree with their behavior or change our morals because of them.” I was saying they have a right to be part of BSA.

          What concerns me about what you wrote is that you are singling out homosexuality as somehow worthy of more concern than other sins. Homosexuality is only mentioned about 5 times in the Bible but has received disproportionate attention and condemnation. The rest of it is dedicated to the sins that ALL of us commit on a daily basis. My point was, if you are going to single out homosexuality, you have to rule out those other sins as well.

    • Laura, please understand that there are more people out there that are not you. In fact, the majority of scouting does not believe in the Christian God. What I wonder, is how you managed to pick up the part in the bible where God says (by the way, the bible was edited by man) that homosexuality is a sin but seemed to miss the parts where it is okay for me to sell my daughter into slavery. Or stone my children to death if they misbehave. Or the part where an Angel told a runaway slave to go back to her mistress and accept the punishment (genisis 16:8). My point here is that saying that the BSA should ban gays because of the Christian Bible is ludicrous. The Boy Scouts aim to promote good moral behaviour and not the morals of any one religion. Therefore, the BSA must promote their own set of morals and beliefs. I could be wrong, of course, but then again, if your charter feels that homosexuality is a sin, then they simply will not be allowed in your troop. Also, if your troop is against homosexuality, then there will be no need to worry about “what will happen at camp when there are other troops I dont know there?” Well your troop will just stay to itself and will not deal with them. The staff will mind their own business like they have always had. Also, most councils, if they believe homosexuality is wrong, will not hire a gay scout for a staff.

      On a more personal note, you Laura, yes you directly, are the reason I got into so many fights at camp and in school. I was one of those people defending gay scouts and my gay friends. I am straight and have nothing to lose with standing up to you and your kind of ignorance. Please just keep in mind that you are ruining another person’s life with your current ways of thinking.

        • The mjority believe in God,there are more than just Christians in Scouting – Jews, – we believe in God as well.

        • First of all, that “Christian God” is the same God that Muslims and Jews follow; it’s called the “Abrahamic Religions” for a reason. Second, the Holocaust was started by a christian man; the fact someone is christian does not make then “better” than anyone else.

          People need to get off their high horse about it. Gays are people too, and they will be part of society, so better get with the program and be a little gay about it yourself (to those closed minded idiots; gay also means happy. Will you look at that, you learn something new every day.).

        • there is no one religious point of view in BSA – there are Christian scouts, Buddhist scouts, Jewish scouts, Muslim scouts, etc

      • Nick, It’s not just a Biblical problem. Homosexuality is damaging to family life. Suicide is a problem with homosexuals. Children raised in a homosexual family get denied having a Male and Female parent, which sociologists agree is detrimental.(source: http://www.citizenlink.com/2010/06/17/30-years-of-research-that-tells-us-a-child-deserves-a-mother-and-a-father/) Lastly, many former homosexuals have admitted that it ruined their lives and left them feeling helpless.

        • um. suicide is a problem with homosexuals because of stigma and fear. so perhaps being more inclusive and accepting of others that are different from oneself will help prevent suicide?

          not all kids have a mother and a father. not all kids have two parent households even. MANY MANY MANY kids are raised by same sex couples and turn out juuuuuust fine. heard of Zach Wahls? Eagle scout raised by a lesbian couple. very thoughtful, intelligent, well adjusted young man. founder of scouts for equality.

    • I am a Christian. Find me a verse in the NEW TESTAMENT that explicitly condemns homosexuality. What’s that? There aren’t any? What’s that? Most of Christianity’s rules have been made up by jerks in power that were simply trying to crush things they didn’t like?

      Read your bible. Don’t you dare use my religion to fuel your blind crusade against things you’ve been tricked into hating. I can’t decide if I’m more angry or depressed that Christianity has been turned into an ignorant crusade against things people are uncomfortable with.

      How sad is it that Christians know nothing of their own religion?

      • Romans 1:26-27
        26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    • oh. right. God tells you through his bible? is there anything that he tells you in his bible that you don’t actually pay attention to? how do you feel about slavery? shellfish? cotton/poly blends?

      thing is, BSA is NOT a christian organization. yes, a scout is reverent, but not necessarily christian. that said, there are even christian organizations that accept openly gay members, and even perform same sex marriages. so. the thing is. if you want to be in a unit that doesn’t allow gay individuals, so be it. but if gay individuals are interested in reaping the benefits that scouting has to offer, then who are you to tell them they can’t?

    • Laura -read the Bible please. The Bible also tells you to kill children who disobey their parents. Honest, its Leviticus 20:9. Now, do you follow that part of the Bible?
      Or the part that says to kill people who work on the Sabbath? That’s in Exodus 35:2.

      But you seem to ‘know’ the Bible, so I assume that you just choose to ignore parts that are inconvenient to you. Some Christian you are.

  22. For those wishing to quote the bible:

    The bible is one religious text of many. The BSA, in its infinite wisdom, supports spirituality in nearly all its forms and religious beliefs. It may surprise you, but there are some religions that: don’t use the bible, support or consider LGBT rights inconsequential to their doctrine, and/or don’t see the bible even if that use it as an absolute. I’m not going to go toe-to-toe with anyone when it comes to quoting the good book. But I do know that if you wish to do so, there is A LOT in Revelations and elsewhere that I’m sure you’d fail to do, perform and live up to in today’s world.

    Psst…that’s one translation – and it’s not even a good one.

  23. This makes me soooo happy!!! I think it is about time to allow LGBT be considered for leadership. Character is not determined by sexual orientation!

  24. That would be the worst mistake the BSA would ever make. It would show the money is more important than principal and standards and morality.

    • really? and here i’ve always thought they will avoid ending this policy because of the money they would lose from the LDS and catholic churches.

  25. The BSA, a once renowned bastion of wholesome American values is simply dumped into the trash bin of history…there is now no difference in this organization accepting today’s lack of moral direction and planned parenthood. The BSA caves to the liberal minority and simply gives way to the left-wing agenda. If this becomes reality…then so much for the Scout Oath and being morally straight! Also, myself or my family will no longer support the BSA, no longer donate to the BSA and no longer volunteer to the BSA. I will immediately remove my boys from an organization that now teaches them that being good, clean, morally straight Americans is no longer cool or publicly acceptable! Don’t forget, I also have a vote in the future of scouting and I won’t be the only one to say good-bye…this is the end of scouting because the lowly minority will never replace the lost conservative scouter and most scout volunteers are not liberal in their ideology. I am sure that Sir Lord Baden-Powell would agree with me. What a complete travesty from a gutless BSA leadership.

    • You are extremely closed minded, Laura and Donald. Common sense should tell you excluding homosexuals is wrong. You don’t need the Bible.

      • There are no official substantive references or sources you could point to that would give your statement any weight. Even the latest biography by Tim Jeal is unclear as to the historical certainty of his orientation. Jeal himself concedes this.

    • Tom I think scouting is for all it teaches people about being a moral citizen and should not dictate about peoples sexuality it is fundamently about being honest about yourself and those around and how you would expected to be treated.
      ps you cannot add a sir to a lord BP’s correct title is Lord Baden Powell of Gilwell and if you ever get the chance you should go to Gilwell Park his home its a Scout activty centre for all to use wether you are Straight or not

  26. As an Eagle Scout myself, I applaud Scouts for taking this first step towards a more inclusive policy. My troop was sponsored by a secular group. I can appreciate that troops with religious sponsors might have different opinions. There are religions to welcome and accept homosexuals, so a policy that would allow secular sponsors or more inclusive religious sponsors to adopt policies that are right for them seems like a good idea.

  27. Pingback: Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy – Scouting the Fox!

    • Yeah. Who’s allowed to tent with who? How is the buddy system going to work now (in Venturing boys and girls can not be each others buddy). How is 2 deep leadership going to work? Again, in Venturing, if I have girls I have to have a female leader and the same with boys needing a male leader. How does this work if you introduce gay youth, or a “transgendered” youth? Are we going to lift the rule on males and females sharing tents and shower areas? This will be a nightmare.

        • Yes, Vivienne, they are the same gender. However, many, if not most of hetero boys would not feel comfortable tenting with a homosexual boy.

        • Then they can be in a unit that does not allow homosexuals that is chartered by your church.. where the others that are not going to care, can now be chartered by the UU church that does allow homosexuals..

          Simple.. no real problems..

        • So two gay youth of the same gender that are “just friends” can tent together because somehow they are more responsible and have more self control than a straight young male and female who are “just friends” but are not allowed to tent together? How is this equal or fair?

  28. This will spawn the Heritage Boys equivalent of the Heritage Girls and take the numbers in the BSA down dramatically. I do not see the LDS Church falling in line with this move. The BSA will dry up in 5 years.

    • I hope not, but if this membership change does come to pass I can’t say the BSA didn’t ask for it.

    • units chartered to LDS wards will not have to make any changes – this will be a unit by unit decision, from what I understand

      • Until the lawsuits start flying. What National is proposing is shifting the legal battle down to the CO’s.

    • I think it will be the LDS Church that will be marginalized. It will be every unit’s choice whether to accept leaders and youth based on their character and abilities, not their sexual orientation or preferences. If their behavior suggests that they pose a danger to youth, they will be removed from the program. If the LDS decides they cannot abide a 21st Century BSA policy of inclusion, perhaps it’s time they develop a new program for their youth.

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