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Merit for All Scouts – Maybe

Posted by T. Resnikoff // January 31st 2013 // Issues and Trends, Social Justice, young adults, youth // one comment


“They’re going to allow people to discriminate.”

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that it is considering changing its longstanding policy against allowing people who identify as LGBTQ to become scouts. A story on Huffington Post states,”NBC News cites a number of ‘scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions’ who say a revised BSA policy would not only lift the ban on gay participants from the national youth organization’s rules, but also allow local sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether or not to admit gay scouts.”

But Zach Wahls, who has been leading a campaign fighting to include lesbians and gays in the Scouts, points out the BSA’s proposal doesn’t go far enough in combating anti-LGBTQ bias in the Boy Scouts because it still allows local scout units to turn members away on the basis of their sexual identity. In an interview on NBC News, Wahls states, “So essentially, instead of forcing people to discriminate they’re going to allow people to discriminate,” Wahls continues,“Even though one is less bad than the other, we still need to make sure that local units are understanding how a ban on gay members negatively affects their unit.”

History of BSA membership controversy.

Scouts for Equality.

Current BSA policy on LGBTQ membership. (The original BSA policy statement has been withdrawn from its website.)

Eagle Scouts returning our badges (tmblr)


Trivia: Each U.S. President serves as Honorary President of the BSA during their term of office. Click here to learn who was the first scout elected U.S. President, and the relationship to scouting of other U.S. Presidents.






About the Author

Ted Resnikoff is the Digital Communications Editor at the Unitarian Universalist Association.
One Response to “Merit for All Scouts – Maybe”
  1. Steve Caldwell says:

    It looks like there is no conversation happening concerning the other ways the Boy Scouts discriminate today.

    (1) The ban on atheist scouts is still in effect and it looks like it will survive the lifting of the current BGLT ban.

    (2) The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has rescinded their approval for the Unitarian Universalist Association’s “Religion in Life” religious award program back in 1998. The BSA has stated that our theology isn’t compatible with BSA policies through this decision.

    This religious discrimination is legal for private organizations that don’t accept government support or government funding. Unfortunately, the BSA’s regional organizations accept both.

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