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Boy Scouts conclude: Anti-gay policy ‘is absolutely the best policy’

HRC: 'A missed opportunity of colossal proportions'
Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Calling it “absolutely the best policy,” the Boy Scouts of American on Tuesday said it plans to keep in place its controversial policy banning gay scouts and scout leaders, following a confidential two-year review.

The BSA ruled out reversing the anti-gay policy, despite online campaigns by gay rights advocates and advocacy groups, reported the Associated Press.

An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts,” the organization’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press.

Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.

As a result of the committee’s decision, the Scouts’ national executive board will take no further action on a recently submitted resolution asking for reconsideration of the membership policy.

Associateed Press, via CBS News

Last month, the Boy Scouts said the organization was considering a resolution proposed at the group’s annual meeting in May that called for ending the policy. But the decision announced Tuesday means the Scouts’ board will take no further action on that resolution, Smith said.

On May 30, LGBT advocate Zach Wahls — an Eagle Scout and the son of lesbian parents — accompanied by officials from Change.org, delivered a petition containing more than 275,000 signatures to the Boy Scouts, asking for the reinstatement of Jennifer Tyrrell, a volunteer den mother from Ohio who was ousted from the group in April because she is lesbian.

Wahls denounced what he said was “the secretive nature surrounding how this conclusion was reached” and called the announcement “old news.”

“This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions,” said Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign.

“With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance,” said Griffin, in a statement.

Tuesday’s announcement comes despite efforts by BSA executive board members James Turley, Ernst & Young CEO, and Randall Stephenson, AT&T CEO, who recently indicated they would try to work from within to change the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy. Both of their companies have been commended by gay-rights groups for gay-friendly employment policies.

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64 more reader comments:

  1. WOW! 8.( . – Sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:37am
  2. I love how the held the study in secret. As if that gives it legitimacy

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:38am
  3. Lets just keep the hate boy scouts. hate as American as apple pie, and boy scouts. Fantistic family values.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:38am
  4. not a shock WHAT IS SHOCKING discounted rates for RENTING space in San Diego and other cities tha thave LAWS agasint discrimination!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:39am
  5. Where has the humanity gone???

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:39am
  6. sigh :(

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:39am
  7. Ridiculous

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:41am
  8. So wrong, scouting should be for all boys regardless of their sexual orientation, thankfully the GSA never had this policy. If they are worried about Pedophilia then they better check the Straight Men in their organization! Sandusky should be a perfect example!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:41am
  9. as a gay man who was a scout, I find this very sad. I have such great memories of being a scout but because the organization chooses to hold such an archaic and close-minded position, I would never let any child of mine participate.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:42am
  10. How gay could be this: a bunch of man, sleeping on the same camp tent, maybe taking a bath together.. mm that sounds the begin of a gay behavior

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:42am
  11. psh like they were founded by gays…look at those ascots

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:43am
  12. yet they still let pedophiles in just as long as they aren’t gay!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:43am
  13. wow narrow minded much?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:43am
  14. I wanted my son to join the Boy Scouts but then I couldn’t bring myself to it after I watched the movie Crips & Bloods: Made in America. I could not support an organization steeped in racism. I didn’t realize how homophobic they are. I’m glad my son isn’t a Scout.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:45am
  15. great policy until the next ‘straight’ scout leader turns out to be a Sandusky!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:47am
  16. it’s a good thing they don’t sell boy scout cookies…I wouldn’t buy them.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:49am
  17. They tolerate pedophiles tho

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:49am
  18. It makes me wonder if we truly live in 2012. This organization in clearly living in 1912.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:51am
  19. The BSA needs to get with the times and stop discriminating against people.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:52am
  20. pitty!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:53am
  21. flarg

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:54am
  22. then there about to loose many scout leaders !

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:57am
  23. Well I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t get the chance to sign my boys up…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:00am
  24. It’s a religious group what did you expect them to do

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:00am
  25. Now if only they were just as hard on pedophiles . . .

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:01am
  26. Kind of funny since the founder of the Boy Scouts was a closeted Homo!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:02am
  27. It’s sad that humans are so prejudiced. Race, mental health, gender identity, sexual orientation. We always find something.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:04am
  28. Time to found an accepting alternative organization.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:07am
  29. I am very saddened by their “closed door” decision. They have hurt many young men by this decision.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:08am
  30. If they truly addressed the pedophile issue they’d have to recruit women into all direct contact positions. Can you imagine the uproar??!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:11am
  31. So much for this institution. Bye.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:18am
  32. Ok so then someone start Scouts for all boys of America!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:20am
  33. What a sad day for the BSOA

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:21am
  34. I feel bad for the young boys of scouting and future scouts. This organization provides great skill building and leadership but being discriminatory makes me believe differently. I am more ashamed than ever to know that I am an eagle scout…

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:26am
  35. This is no surprise, unfortunately. Sad how this policy teaches boy scouts that intolerance, discrimination, exclusivity, and bias are A-OK. And u/ the guise of “morality”! Such hateful teachings go beyond the pale of rationality and humanity.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:35am
  36. Check out Camp Fire Kids of America. They have always been very open. My partner and I have sent our three kids to their camps for years, as do many other gay families we know. We steered clear of BSA from the beginning.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:37am
  37. WHY????

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:42am
  38. Where should I return my Eagle award?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:47am
  39. how do people get involved to help reverse this policy? this is discrimination.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 11:51am
  40. Remember when they said that about black kids?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:06pm
  41. I think paying attention to a group like the Boy Scouts is pretty much a waste of time in an era where we have bigger fish to fry. Simply cut off any funding they get from the community, reroute it to the Girl Scouts and feel better knowing that your hard-earned money is going to an actual deserving organization. As for the Boy Scouts, they are so stuck in the past that by now they have about as much social relevance as a Betamax video tape does to a Blu Ray player.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:12pm
  42. Ugh. I have friends with children who are involved in BSA. I continue to show support for the kids, as this was not their choice. However, if/when I have children, we will find something more “up-to-date.”

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:21pm
  43. every boy scout i know ended up being gay if not during the after scouts.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:27pm
  44. I can only assume they don’t need all the excellent leaders they can attract.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:33pm
  45. I was in the boy scouts.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:39pm
  46. Shame on the Boyscouts. Maybe they would reconsider if all open minded people Boycotted the Boyscouts!! Because they are sending the wrong messages to our sons. Some of whom I am fairly certain may grow up to be gay or transgendered too. This is how hate is perpetuated in our world.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 12:49pm
  47. I agree with Hope Glassberg Compean Novellos point. This is very true

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:14pm
  48. The true fact is there are more Gays And bisexuals than striaghts . A study has proven.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:14pm
  49. so they can keep screwing in the secret tent?

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:48pm
  50. Yikes! This was a terrible, ignorant decision. The whole country is moving towards respect and inclusion for the LGBT community. The BSA’s anti-gay stance may prove to be a Pyrrhic Victory for the bigots … I can see a major backlash against this by people supporting equality.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:59pm
  51. If I had sons, the BSA would be the LAST place I’d let them join. CREEP!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 1:59pm
  52. That policy ruling almost sounds as if they approve of keeping a policy of bullying on a specific group. Some of the worst bullying that I ever went through, was in the boy scouts. Some things will never change.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 2:33pm
  53. I guess I’ll never understand how the minds of those people work, how would having a few homosexual or bisexual members influence the BSA in a negative way? it’s like the owner of a restaurant saying ‘I don’t like pickles, let’s wipe them off the menu!’

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 2:43pm
  54. There has been numerous incidents involving same sex activities in certain Boy Scouts camps publicized in the news……Are you really serious about Anti Gay policies? This should be illegal in this great democratic country. ……Why is it that so many wants to bash the LGBT community in a democratic country, in the 21st century. There are gay people in the world people. To discriminate against gay people you might as well continue to discriminate against the color of someone’s skin and a person’s religious denomination; Protestant. Catholic, Muslim, Jews, Pentecostal, Atheist, Agnostic, etc, etc. There are an overwhelming close to 20,000,000 in the LGBT community. Those in the LGBT communities should stand up for themselves cause this is outrageous. People have the right to be and practice what they feel is suitable for them so long it is not putting anyone in danger. Whatever happen to CIVILITY, RESPECT for one-another as well as CO-EXISTING which means you dont have to like me yet in the name of morals ethics and civility we must learn to co-exist in order for our country to progress. There are so much to do why in the world so many focus’ on the LGBT community as if gay people have no rights. They exist and they are human beings let them be judged by your GOD on judgement day.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 2:55pm
  55. Another reason my son will never be a boy scout!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:52pm
  56. I don’t really see how anyone should be surprised…they are Mormon run, so it is really a no brainier that they have no intention of changing anytime soon.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:59pm
  57. So sad, once was a great organization….

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 4:20pm
  58. I think our dear old chap, baron Baden Powell would turn in his grave! I believe he too was one of us. ‘The love that dare not speak his name.’ ‘a single man’, ‘light in his loafers’. At least I had fun those 8 years at scouting, although bullied here and there. Too bad leaders of BSA want to make it more of a ideological show piece. Maybe they need to be remembered about the oath: ‘a scout is a brother to ALL other scouts’

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 5:18pm
  59. end boy scouts

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 5:38pm
  60. it is a shame and an embarrassment to all of us who were in the Boy Scouts in the years of our youth and then as adult leaders. I truly believe the leaders that came to this decision have let down all of the past, present and future young men that must live by ignorance of this decision.

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:29pm
  61. fuck the boy scouts… oh wait, in high school I was doing just that..

    Posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 10:34pm
  62. @John Mattson: So were the scoutmasters.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 2:17am
  63. Jane, not only were we created equally, but in God’s image.

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 12:56pm
  64. Whao! They’re so hostile!

    Posted on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 1:42pm