RVA area faith group claims ending ban on gay Boy Scout leaders is “beginning of the end”
The Boy Scouts of America officially ended their ban on gay Scout troop leaders this week, and while 79% of Scout’s membership approved of the move away from the discriminatory policy, at least one local church group is predicting the worst.
“I think it’s the beginning of the end of the boy scouts,” Don Blake, President of the Virginia Christian Alliance, told NBC12 in a segment yesterday. “Parents have to fear their children being molested.”
Blake and his group’s opinion run opposite to Monday’s 54-12 vote by the BSA Executive Board when to lift the ban on gay leaders.
BSA’s National President Dr. Robert M. Gates released a statement following the board’s vote which explained how the 105-year-old youth organization came to this decision.
“Everyday, in every community, Scouting is changing lives,” he said. “Due to the social, legal, and political changes in America today, I did not think the adult leader policy could be sustained.”
Gates cited possible legal battles and the staggering costs associated with fighting those battles as part of the reason to end the policy. He said the best policy was to address the issue and set their own corse, following the Scouts own National Executive Committee which came to this conclusion earlier this month.
But local Scout troops still linked to religious groups will be allowed to deny gay leaders if it violates their religious beliefs.
“No youth may be denied membership to our organization on the basis of sexual orientation alone,” said Gates. “And no council can deny a charter to a unit that is following the beliefs of its religious chartering origination.”
Gates said Boy Scouts of America was about providing fun and safe environments to its youth members, building character and leadership skills along the way.
“For far too long, this issue has divided and distracted us,” he said. “Now its time to unite behind the shared belief that the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good in a community and int he lives of its youth members.”
For decades, LGBT adults have not been allowed to be scout leaders, but with the ban lifted, it’s now up to local chapters to decide whether or not they want to discriminate.
In the video below, LGBTQ Journalist and activist Matt Baume debunks several of the myths that groups like the Family Research Council, and local groups like Blake’s Virginia Christian Alliance, have perpetuated in order to keep gays and lesbians out of the organization.
“Nothing,” Baume says, “is more dangerous to someone like Tony Perkins than a gay role model.”
Top image via Scouts for Equality
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