The change in the Boy Scouts of America policy regarding gays in the BSA could come as soon as next week. According to BSA spokesman Deron Smith “The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address the issue.” The move comes under severe pressure for the BSA to change their policies and would leave the changes up to the 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civil groups.
“Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.”
“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.”
Of course, some are hailing the move while others are gearing up to claim that this will lead to the end of the world. GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro stated that the BSA were making important first steps in the direction of ending the national ban, and that “The Girl Scouts, 4H Clubs and the U.S. military are fully inclusive, and that’s what we need from the Boy Scouts of America. Until then there will be young people out there who are harmed by this.”
Zach Wahls stated “This would be an incredible step forward in the right direction.” Wahls gained fame for defending his two mothers during debates regarding same-sex marriage. As an Eagle Scout, he went on to found Scouts for Equality.
When it comes to anti-gay bigots, though, like the Southern Baptist Convention, the move is likely to cause problems. Albert Mohler, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY called the move “nothing less than disastrous for the Boy Scouts of America.” He also warned that he is quite certain that the churches sponsoring Boy Scout troops would end their relationship with the BSA over the policy.
Over the last decade, and Scouting has dwindled in popularity, the push to turn the BSA into a religious propaganda and recruiting entity have largely gone unchecked.