BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

GLAAD, the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) media advocacy and anti-defamation organization, and Scouts for Equality today responded to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announcement that it is considering a new policy that would allow gay members to participate in Scouting. The decision follows a nearly yearlong campaign by GLAAD and Scouts for Equality, as well as Change.org petitions signed by more than 1.2 million people calling for an end to the BSA’s ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders.

BSA spokesperson Deron Smith; “For more than 100 years, Scouting’s focus has been on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

“The Boy Scouts of America have heard from scouts, corporations and millions of Americans that discriminating against gay scouts and scout leaders is wrong,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “Scouting is a valuable institution and this change will only strengthen its core principles of fairness and respect.”

“This would be an incredible step forward in the right direction,” said Zach Wahls, Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality. “We look forward to working with BSA Councils and chartering organizations across the country to end the exclusion of our gay brothers in Scouting, as well as the gay and lesbian leaders who serve the organizations so well.”

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