Boy Scouts of America Continues to Ban Gays
After a two-year long review, Boy Scouts of America announced on Tuesday that their 11-member panel concluded to uphold their discriminatory and exclusion policies against both adult leaders and Scouts.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court came to a judicial decision in 2000, preserving this long-standing policy, protest campaigns began to heavily press the organization for change. In 2010, a discreet Scouts committee created an 11-member panel consisting of professional executives and adult volunteers, in order to address this issue one final time. However, the Scout’s will not identify the members of the special committee, but reassure that the group was composed of “a diversity of perspectives and opinions.”
The 102 year-old organization cited that family support was a key reason for their unanimous decision, and that exclusion “is absolutely the best policy.” Following their decision, Scouts released a statement indicating, “The review included forthright and candid conversation and extensive research and evaluations – both from within Scouting and from outside of the organization,” the statement said.
“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 Scouts’ chief executive, Bob Mazzuca. “We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
The president of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad griffin, claims that the Scout’s decision “a missed opportunity of colossal proportions.” Griffin points out that piece after piece of legislation is being passed to move the country as a whole toward total inclusion, and instead the organization is choosing to send a message to young people that only some of them are valued. “They’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance” said Griffin.
One of many protest campaigns concerns Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother of a 7 year-old Cub Scout, who was ousted as a den mother, due to her sexual orientation. A petition began to reinstate Tyrell, and has gained over 300,000 signatures.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, an Iowa student who was raised by lesbian mothers, argues that the committee review process should not have been kept secret. “The very first value of the Scout Law is that a Scout is trustworthy,” Wahls said. “There is absolutely nothing trustworthy about unelected and unnamed committee members who are unwilling to take responsibility for their actions,” said Wahls.
Rachel Williams is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University with a calling to be a voice to the voiceless; and passion is to bring gender equality and ethnic justice to the forefront of RVA.
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