News (USA)

Boy Scouts distribute more than 1 million surveys seeking input on gay ban

Boy Scouts distribute more than 1 million surveys seeking input on gay ban

IRVING, Texas — The Boy Scouts of America, who are considering revising their ban on gay scouts, have sent a questionnaire to Scout families, asking them how they’d feel about having openly scouts or gays and lesbians serving as Scout leaders.

According to the Dallas Voice, the Scouts emailed the survey to members and their parents on Sunday, in an effort to gain input on group’s current anti-gay policy.

“The Boy Scouts of America is in the process of a careful and deliberate review of our membership policy, as it relates to the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation,” the BSA wrote in an email announcing the survey.

“We are dedicated to the integrity of this process. In an effort to listen to our members’ perspectives and concerns, we ask you to answer some questions about this topic and about your overall Scouting experiences.”

The Dallas Voice obtained copies of the brief survey, which includes these questions:

Bob is 15 years old, and the only openly gay Scout in a Boy Scout troop. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the troop leader to allow Bob to tent with a heterosexual boy on an overnight camping trip?

Johnny, a first grade boy, has joined Tiger Cubs with his friends. Johnny’s friends and their parents unanimously nominate Johnny’s mom who is known by them to be lesbian, to be the den leader. Johnny’s pack is chartered to a church where the doctrine of that faith does not teach that homosexuality is wrong. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for his mother to serve as a den leader for his Cub Scout den?

The questions come in advance of a May national meeting at which Scout leaders are expected to vote on whether to end the long-standing ban.

”We are currently in the ‘Listening Phase,’ where the BSA’s committees engage key stakeholders for input and develop a summary report,” said Scouts spokesman Deron Smith.

The Scouts will use the survey results to inform a report that the organization is creating on the issue, including on the potential financial and legal issues around ending the ban, he said.

The survey was distributed to approximately 1.1 million registered volunteers and parents of Scouts. In the next few days, the Scouts will send surveys to Scouting alumni, said Smith.

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