The Boy Scouts Have Lifted Their Ban On Gay Leaders!
The Boy Scouts of America is now allowing gay leaders! Congrats, Boy Scouts, you’re moving into modernity with the rest of us!
The Boy Scouts had lifted their ban on gay scouts in 2013, but not their ban on gay leaders. On Monday, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board voted 45-12 to lift the ban, leaving exclusions to the policy for church-sponsored councils, after several warnings over the past month from former Defense Secretary and current BSA President Robert Graves (weird? Not weird? I’m not sure) that the ban wasn’t sustainable.
In May, Graves expressed concern that the ban would result in legal battles that the BSA wouldn’t win, and specifically referenced the fact that many local councils had hired gay leaders in spite of the ban. For example, a New York council hired the country’s first openly gay Eagle scout, Pascal Tessier, just this past April.
Of course, plenty of people aren’t happy. The Human Rights Campaign’s president, Chad Griffin, says that the BSA should “demonstrate true leadership and begin the process of considering a full national policy of inclusion,” and mandate that the ban be lifted even for church-sponsored councils. And, on the other hand, the Mormon church, the Baptist church, and several others are considering cutting ties with the BSA for being, you know, compassionate and welcoming toward human beings. Surprisingly, the Catholics are the only traditionally conservative church with any chill: They said they want to maintain ties with the Boy Scouts, but have reservations about associating with people who have gay sex, basically. Which is still homophobic, just a little less homophobic than it could’ve been.
Now we just need to get the Boy Scouts to include atheists, agnostics, and people with vaginas (the Girl Scouts is NOT the same thing – I learned phone etiquette and baking as a Brownie while my guy friends were learning survival skills). But it’s great anyway – progress is progress.