The Boy Scouts of America has just announced that its National Executive Board has moved to ratify a resolution, which will see the removal of restrictions to have openly gay adults in its leadership and workforce. According to the organization, the said resolution was actually recommended for ratification by its Executive Committee earlier this month and now, the said resolution will be made effective immediately.
The Boy Scouts of America also added, “This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families.”
Nonetheless, the organization explained that, “Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders and religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters of sexuality. ” Religious chartered organizations are still able to choose adult volunteer leaders with beliefs that “are consistent with their own.”
Following the announcement, National President of The Boy Scouts of America, Dr. Robert M. Gates has said, “Due to the social, political, and legal changes taking place in our country and in our movement, I did not believe the adult leadership policy could be sustained. Any effort to do so was inevitably going to result in simultaneous legal battles in multiple jurisdictions and at staggering cost. The best way to allow the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) to continue to focus on its mission and preserve its core values was to address the issue and set our own course. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Furthermore, Gates clarified, “What remains unchanged is everyone associated with scouting agrees to follow national policies and comply with BSA’s behavioral standards; no youth may be denied membership to our organization on the basis of sexual orientation; and no council can deny a charter to a unit that is following the beliefs of its religious chartering organization.”
The Boy Scouts of America is an organization with roots going back 105 years. This scouting organization is made up of about 2.5 million youth members ages seven to 21 as well as 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the U.S. and its territories. It aims to ensure that young people are “Prepared. For Life.®”
Now, the organization is also ready to be more open to the gay community. In fact, Gates declared, “For far too long this issue has divided and distracted us. Now it’s time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of scouting to be a force for good in a community and in the lives of its youth members.”