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Boy Scouts open ranks to gay youth, but ban on gay adult leaders remains

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Boy Scouts of America on Wednesday began accepting openly gay youth, a historic policy change that affects the scouting ranks, however the ban on gay scout leaders remains in effect.

At its National Council’s annual meeting last May, the Boy Scouts adopted a resolution “to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.”

boy-scoutsThe policy change, supported by 60 percent of the 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council, takes effect today.

Under the new membership policy, youths can no longer be barred from the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or coed Venturers program on the basis of sexual orientation. However, gay Scouts will face some limitations.

“Any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,” says one BSA document. “No member may use Scouting to promote or advance any social or political position or agenda, including on the matter of sexual orientation.”

Trying to anticipate potential friction, the BSA has distributed extensive explanations and question-and-answer documents related to the policy.

A frequently-asked-questions document anticipates that some objections might surface from parents — or Scouts themselves — in cases where a unit includes an openly gay boy.

Regarding shower and toilet facilities, the BSA says it is encouraging units to provide greater individual privacy, including moving away from the tradition of group showers.

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“The adult leaders have the discretion to arrange private showering times and locations,” the BSA says.

Sleeping arrangements also are addressed, with specific decisions left to unit leaders.

“If a Scout or parent of a Scout makes a request to not tent with another Scout, their wishes should be honored,” says the BSA.

Meanwhile, gay rights supporters have vowed to maintain pressure on the Boy Scouts to end the still-in-place ban on gay and lesbian adults serving as leaders.

Last month, defense and aerospace giant Lockheed Martin halted its corporate donations to the Boy Scouts due to the continued ban on gay scout leaders.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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117 more reader comments:

  1. What… Why on the leaders?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:49pm
  2. One step at a tine. I commend them for finally taking a step in the right direction.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:50pm
  3. WTF! Well half added is better than no ass!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:50pm
  4. Because as many people do, they lump pedophiles and homosexuals together. NOT THE SAME!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:50pm
  5. Double standard? But at least there’s some type of acceptance. Even though it’s not completely acceptable.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:51pm
  6. Nobody needs their ass kissed for doing the right thing.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:51pm
  7. Um Ok? Lmao what’s the difference!? Youth grow up to be adults Lol shit is no different they just like hating.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:52pm
  8. Rather stupid considering a pedophile wouldn’t announce themselves

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:52pm
  9. not all gay people are pedophiles... in fact, the vast majority of pedophiles are hetero!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:02pm
  10. Not only that but, contrary to the homophobic belief, very very rarely is a gay person also a pedophile - just not the way it works.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:03pm
  11. I agree if you are attracted to children it's a different pathology all together Anyone that tells you they a re a gay man certainly isn't going to want to diddle the children

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:05pm
  12. It is true that most child molesters (pedophile refers to a subset who are primarily attracted to prepubescent children) are heterosexual, but it is a meaningless statistic - an artifact - the majority of PEOPLE are heterosexual. There is absolutely no evidence that gays or lesbians are more likely to be attracted to children than are heterosexuals. Many years of experience, however, suggest that molesters are attracted to positions like Scoutmaster. So, bringing in openly gay men might actually make Scouts safer.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:35pm
  13. Just because the leaders could be gay, doesn’t make them pedophiles!!! Wtf?!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:53pm
  14. That’s fine

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:53pm
  15. Yeah, you can’t brainwash religion into adults heads. You gotta start when they are 6 in Weeblos.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:53pm
  16. so a gay young man can achieve the rank of Eagle Scout but not be a leader when he turns 18?!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:53pm
  17. So when they hit, what, like 18, they are forced to quit?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:54pm
  18. Yup exactly

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:49pm
  19. hm explorer scouts are there .but leaders should include all

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:52pm
  20. that's stupid!

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:52pm
  21. Good question.... so silly

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:20pm
  22. probably. The unlike half is still bigger than the like half.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:30pm
  23. Yes. They can continue as Scouts until they turn 18, then they are kicked to the curb and cannot volunteer as adult leaders. So, openly gay boys can be Scouts (grudgingly), but are denied any positive gay role models. Makes perfect sense if one is a homophobe.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:38pm
  24. We can only push and fight and hope they change their mind under all the pressure.

    Replied on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:21am
  25. If the gay children want to be ridiculed and ostracized. More power to them.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:56pm
  26. There are plenty of secretly fucked up people who molest children in the Boy Scouts.

    An out gay man is not going join the Boy Scouts and then molest children. He would be aware that there are too many people out there watching him.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:57pm
  27. Moving in the right direction, but they will receive no support from me until all are welcome.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:58pm
  28. And probably Atheists, as usual!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:58pm
  29. Oh ok so they are just going to be partial bigots. Good to know.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:58pm
  30. A shame! Dedicated gay scouts will make great leaders.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:58pm
  31. History has shown that PEDOFILES are more likely to offend than gay leaders

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:59pm
  32. Bad news and good news, to bad parents would want to have their kid join an organization that does not value them once they hit puberty, sexuality is not changeable, I guess no one reads in that organization, everyone is bisexual, they can not act on it, or act on it, but we are all capable of having sex with anyone. Why sex scares so many people is beyond me.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 6:59pm
  33. I still won’t support them. They are bigots period.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:00pm
  34. Kismet Hansen, right?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:01pm
  35. Troy Hawkins, right on!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:02pm
  36. That’s what they think…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:02pm
  37. Right. Because a straight man is such a better role model than a good gay male role model for these boys.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:03pm
  38. Shows that they are still a bigot ridden organization that needs to be fumigated!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:03pm
  39. I was in cub scouts and too young to know my sexuality but I do remember my HETEROSEXUAL FATHER MOLESTING ME! So all of you HETEROSEXUAL assholes out there, go F…. yourselves. Thank you!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:05pm
  40. I was going to say the same thing Walter.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:05pm
  41. Not a cause for celebration!!!!! Serious reform imminent + major boycotts and my children WILL NOT ASSOCIATE with this group or anyone in it because we are a family of diversity and we embrace groups that support all human beings and not exclusive and hateful ones like BSA!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:06pm
  42. James Creason, there are mass amounts of case studies that prove you are correct. Thanks

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:06pm
  43. Boy Scouts should get a badge for escaping the fondling of their straight pedophile scout leaders

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:06pm
  44. The BSA only gave in because of their declining donations and loosing their government owned leases. -uck the BSA and their bigoted ideals!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:06pm
  45. Tim and Walter, that is correct

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:07pm
  46. one step forward two steps back.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:07pm
  47. The Boy Scouts need to ban pedophiles instead of harboring them.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:09pm
  48. I think it is very strange that peoples sex lives have anything to do with being a scout!…..totally wierd…….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:10pm
  49. Darrin Timothy, a TYPICAL MORON, oops, Mormon, uneducated response. Obtain a Doctorate degree as I did then you may offer educated responses here. Thank you.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:10pm
  50. Not good enough, but at least it’s a start. They are moving ahead. That’s more than you can say for our state as of now.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:11pm
  51. Shame on them

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:12pm
  52. Good and bad, things are moving forward. Maybe not fast enough for some but goodby things are happening

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:14pm
  53. Gay youth can become great leaders and we should not stand in the way from them doing so equality for all

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:15pm
  54. Well….it’s a step in the right direction. Still won’t be getting any of my money though.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:16pm
  55. Don’t they know that most pedophiles are married straight guys??

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:34pm
  56. so they are good enough to BE scouts but after years of being a scout they become no longer good enough to LEAD scouts?? that doesn’t make much sense …

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:36pm
  57. OK. So they will let a kid be a scout. But when that gay kid grows up he can’t be a leader himself. Gee thanks.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:43pm
  58. As we descend into light, some trials shall remain. But, nonetheless, we celebrate our victories of the present in hopes of a better future. In other words, we are one step better than what we were before. Let’s be happy about that, and use that as stepping grounds to get that other ban removed as well. :D

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:46pm
  59. Well at least it’s a start. The nice thing is all the judgmental, nasty, religious pains are gone. They all stomped off.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:48pm
  60. that is dumb.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:51pm
  61. Keep going Scouts! You are on the right track !

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:55pm
  62. Only half like. Got to go the whole way!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:56pm
  63. Amen take it or leave it.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:56pm
  64. The Boy Scout uniform doesn’t have dresses.!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:57pm
  65. That is just stupid on so many levels, but they are really a private club, so they can do whatever they please!!!!! No matter how wrong!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 7:57pm
  66. What a shame.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:00pm
  67. It’s Progress…the struggle continues.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:02pm
  68. Actually it ISN'T progress. It's the "appearance" of progress.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:04pm
  69. So do only gay people abuse children & straight men/women sexually don’t sexually abuse children ?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:05pm
  70. What are you for real !!!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:06pm
  71. Stepping stones. Baby steps. Don’t push too hard, or it won’t work. There needs to be cooperation and small victories add up.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:07pm
  72. No, there's no legitimate need to coddle the homophobes and bigots.

    Replied on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:06pm
  73. thats bull shit

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:17pm
  74. Meanwhile, in other news, the same Religious Right that keeps the Boy Scouts from allowing gay leaders because we can’t be trusted around children (they claim) is rallying behind a false reality tv show star who’s not only racist and homophobic but married a teenage girl and publicly advises others to do the same. Yet somehow THAT’S okay….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:17pm
  75. Gotta start somewhere, I suppose.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:35pm
  76. please have the wives of these straight Boy Scouts leaders stay away from the boys…could be molesters…and have the husbands of the Girl Scouts stay away from the girls….could be molesters….

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 8:44pm
  77. All or nothing that’s the way has to be. I’m gay and proud.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:21pm
  78. The hypocrisy in turning out an Eagle scout at 17 who you then reject at 18! Do they not even know how stupid they look?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:29pm
  79. I personally donèt agreed with that division, but i can understand why they chose to deny gay adults a leadership role…

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:44pm
  80. Good, Galenthor Storm, perhaps you can explain it to me?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 9:59pm
  81. half like, half unlike

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:28pm
  82. Inequitable decision-gay leaders should be in there too

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 10:41pm
  83. At least they aren’t banning the children. Adults can handle it, suck it up for now and keep fighting! Together we can do this! Equal rights are coming!

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:04pm
  84. And until the restrictions are removed not one damn dime will they receive.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:05pm
  85. Yeah, kicked out as u grow older.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:06pm
  86. Then are LGBTI youth at risk being with possible bigoted leaders with no monitoring in place? What training do these so called straight leaders have to complete to work with these youth? What mechanism is in place to protect these youth from abuse?

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:15pm
  87. Because the scouts is afraid they will sexually molest the young scouts! DOUBLE STANDARD! what about all of the straight teachers, clergy, child daycare employees,etc,,, who molest children off the opposite sex????

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:28pm
  88. So the BSA still discriminates

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:31pm
  89. Terry Turner, it is a step forward. You may not recognize the progress but that doesn’t negate it. It used to be that if a Scout came out of the closet as homosexual, that Scout was kicked out of the BSA. Now that gay youth can put a face on homosexuality, the organization will continue to progress. There will be bullies and bigots that will continue to demean gay Scouts, but other heteronormal Scouts will have the opportunity to step up for those gay Scouts. The struggle continues.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:37pm
  90. Until there is equality for adults in the Boy Scouts they will never receive a dime from me.

    Posted on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 at 11:54pm
  91. Maybe when the gay kids grow up and want to be leaders things willl change.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:08am
  92. We’re having to win the marriage issue on a state by state basis. Hopefully the BSA will not only start allowing adult gays into their ranks but also do 2 other things. Background checks on all their leaders and a national data base that is shared with and used by all troops.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:17am
  93. I am proud to be a part of the venture scouts. I am back ib the scouting game baby!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 12:26am
  94. yeah

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:27am
  95. Scouting is a good program for boys, it’s a shame the “parents and leaders” are making up these anti-gay rules. All it teaches is how to be predujidice to others.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:34am
  96. *Face palm*

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:55am
  97. There are already leaders that are gay although closeted

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:07am
  98. Perhaps the adults responsible for pushing anti gay need to be accountable. Bring them out.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:12am
  99. That’s the way to teach character, don’t have any and hope the young men will figure it out on their own. Hypocrites!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:15am
  100. Disgusting

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:30am
  101. Well one step at a time..

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 3:51am
  102. In essence that says all adult gay men are pedophiles – they wake up on their 18th birthday and have an uncontrollable urge to have sex with boy children – science fiction anyone – SMH

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 4:13am
  103. I still won’t support them in any way. Not yet.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:16am
  104. This is almost worse. First of all, gay youth will be discriminated against. Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Jones don’t want their kid in a tent with a gay boy? That gay boy ends up in a tent by himself with a Scout leader who has obvious disdain for him. You know it’ll happen. And what is with the continued ban on gay leaders? A kid who has two dads or two moms cannot have his parents participate because, what, bigoted, narrow-minded fucks think that all non-straight people are sexual predators? How ass-backwards can you possibly be?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:26am
  105. Outrageously horrible. Turn 18 and no longer okay? I don’t buy into this.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:46am
  106. Seems fair, but does this mean they are not taking vole teens and their own parents. I don’t see that working out. Eh

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:37am
  107. So you can age out of Boy Scouts? That’s not right.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 6:59am
  108. This shit is sick.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 7:21am
  109. Well, it’s a start. But until they go all the way, ill not send any future child of mine into the program.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 9:23am
  110. Wha?

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 11:44am
  111. “All righty” then ….it’s okay to play gay when you are little but when you grow up and it might really be the case it’s wrong! How does that apply for instance to changing your mind about…..let’s say the party you voted for…….careful! What’s good for the goose….

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 11:56am
  112. So that’s why Scalia resigned.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:22pm
  113. you’d think the boy scouts would be against just “half-assing” the job.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 1:40pm
  114. Almost there!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:09pm
  115. I think the parents who are against gay leaders should be prevented from having anything to do with boy scouts. Just because someone is gay does not mean they’re going to fuck everyone person who has a dong. Just saying. People are idiots.

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:15pm
  116. I’m sure their are several gay adults in the boy scouts ! They just remember the don’t ask don’t tell policy!

    Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 2:33pm
  117. Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 5:40pm