BSA to start accepting openly gay members

Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2013 03:34 pm

The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New Year's Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to ponder a host of potential complications — ranging from policies on tentmates and showers to whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.

Yet despite their be-prepared approach, BSA leaders are rooting for the change to be a non-event, comparable to another New Year's Day in 2000 when widespread fears of digital-clock chaos to start the new millennium proved unfounded.

"My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare," said Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member who chairs the policy implementation committee. "It's business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward."

Some churches are dropping their sponsorship of Scout units because of the new policy and some families are switching to a new conservative alternative called Trail Life USA. But massive defections haven't materialized and most major sponsors, including the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches, are maintaining ties.

"There hasn't been a whole lot of fallout," said Haddock, a lawyer from Wichita, Kan. "If a church said they wouldn't work with us, we'd have a church right down the street say, 'We'll take the troop.'"

The new policy was approved in May, with support from 60 percent of the 1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council. The vote followed bitter nationwide debate, and was accompanied by an announcement that the BSA would continue to exclude openly gay adults from leadership positions.

Under the new membership policy, youths can no longer be barred from the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or coed Venturers program solely on the basis of sexual orientation. However, gay Scouts will face some limitations.
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Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2013 03:46 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
My first thought is, oh, yawn, but I suppose it's an advance in their way.
Lustig Andrei
Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2013 04:56 pm
It's quite an about-face for them. They've been vehemently anti-gay.
Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2013 05:35 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
I'm very aware of the long time anti gay thing with them.
Reply Sat 28 Dec, 2013 05:49 pm
I don't know what is going on with the girl scouts and am not in a present mood to look it up. Do you know?

I was a girl scout for a short time, but in that time I earned only two simple badges - all the projects seemed elaborate (even then I'd rather read). The good things were that I had my first cooking lessons from Mrs. Radcliffe (biscuits! pralines!) and got to go to Washington, DC on a bus with the rest of us. At that age, I was a dumkopf re any of this sexual stuff. No idea of the policies at large; our troop was a catholic school one.
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