In a truly disappointing move earlier this week, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its longstanding policy of barring openly gay boys from membership and homosexual adults from serving in leadership roles, reports the New York Times.
After a two-year-long evaluation by a committee of volunteers and professional leaders, the Boy Scouts released a statement on Tuesday declaring its intent to uphold its discriminatory policy, setting the BSA apart from other groups like the Girl Scouts, the 4-H Clubs and even the U.S. military.
“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,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America in a press release. “While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
The official BSA policy reads, “While the B.S.A. does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A.”
Of course it could be argued that what is more distracting than simply accepting gays and lesbians into its ranks, is discriminating against them in such a public way.
This April, Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom in Ohio, was ejected from her position as a den mother of her son’s Tiger Scouts group because of her sexuality. She started a Change.org petition to be reinstated, which has now racked up more than 320,000 signatures, but has failed to sway the BSA thus far.
What’s your take on the Boy Scouts’ continued policy of discrimination? Would you allow your son to join their ranks? Leave a comment.