As an Eagle Scout, a long-time Scouter, and as the brother of a gay man, I just read this story and thought, “It’s about damn time!:
As early as next week, the Boy Scouts of America may announce it will allow gay Scouts and troop leaders, a spokesman for the group has told USA TODAY.
If this policy shift is approved by the national board meeting next week, it will be a sharp reversal of the Scouts’ decades’ old national policy banning homosexuals.
“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,” BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Only seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed its ban on gays after a nearly two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, known as the BSA. However, local chapters and some members of the national board — corporate CEO Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young — called for a reconsideration.
I’m just hoping that this happens without the more virulently anti-gay factions within Scouting trying to put the kibosh on it; my expectations are guarded on this. The Girl Scouts of the USA did this long ago and they haven’t imploded; as a matter of fact, they’re doing quite well having the door open for and welcoming gay members and leaders.
However, there may be success for overturning National’s blanket anti-gay policy this time, as evidenced by those who called for the re-review: corporations have started to drop the BSA from their charitable giving specifically because of National’s sham “policy review” on this and its renewed anti-gay stance. Now, they’re trying to staunch the flow of corporate dollars; this is one instance where I’m glad money talks.