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Speak Up: Should the Boy Scouts End the Ban on Gay Leaders and Scouts?

The Boy Scouts of America affirmed its ban on gay scouts and leaders in July of 2012, but a spokesperson says that could change. How do you feel about it?

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America has told USA Today that the organization may announce a change to its policy on gay scouts and leaders as early as next week.

The spokesperson said BSA would allow gay scouts and troop leaders, which is an about face for the organization.

"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.

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In July 2012, the Boy Scouts of America confirmed its ban of gays from the organization. The longtime ban, which was reaffirmed after a two-year review, banned gay boys from being Boy Scouts and gay adults from serving as troop leaders.

According to The New York Times, the decision came after years of debate. In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld 5-4 the right of the Boy Scouts to expel a gay assistant scoutmaster, saying that as a private organization, it had the right to decide what values it wanted to inculcate.

The proposed new policy would leave decisions on membership and leadership up to the Scouts' 290 local governing councils and 116,000 sponsoring religious and civic groups.

Smith told USA Today:

Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs.

Do you support or oppose the Boy Scouts' decision to change course on its ban of gay scouts and leaders? Share your thoughts in the comments section, below!

JT Bright January 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM
I think it is bullshit that such a ban could exist to begin with. Boy scouts is supposed to be of no religious bias whatsoever. However, homosexuality is somehow a stumbling block for them. If the military can accept homosexuals, why cant the BSA? It's all another form of persecution and intolerance brought on by religion.
John Lee January 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Dont do it. I would not have been a scout. My son would not have been a scout. The subject of sex in any form has no place in scout regardless of orientation. Adults should keep their sexual thoughts of any kind to themselves when at scouting events. Was scouting not conceived to help our sons grow into men? I hope the Boy Scouts of America will wise up fire whoever recommended this and market the Scouts to be cool for boys not catering to every political view.
Don January 30, 2013 at 01:01 PM
the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and can set its own rules. There is no reason on earth that they should be forced to accept someone or some group with thought process that are alien to them. This is, for now, still a free country. If we don't want gay folks in our group that's okay. If you don't want to associate with those "religious' people that are so 'intolerant' then so be it, that's okay too. Stay away from us. Don't try to force us to accept you. That's just not the American way. Some of us want to do it God's way. If you don't want to, that is your choice. But again, just don't try to force me to do it your way. Start your own gay boy scout group.
normalicy January 30, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Honestly, no matter how you or I feel on the issue, it's their prerogative. I can see both sides of the story. I don't see this as a religious issue, though it could be. And if it is, they can choose to go with it. Is it right? I'm not qualified to say. Honestly, I don't see what a gay person would want to do with the organization anyhow. Chances are that they would face quite a bit of persecution whether leader or scout.
B Eger January 30, 2013 at 01:25 PM
Homosexuality has no place in the Boy Scouts, which teach high moral values. Homosexuals are people performing perverted sex acts with a person of their same sex, absolutely their should be no place for them in the Boy Scouts.
Not Gay January 30, 2013 at 01:35 PM
Keep homosexuality out of BSA! Stop forcing your perverted ways on everyone!
JD January 30, 2013 at 02:00 PM
They should do as they please as a private organization. Some of you need to realize that the government is not forcing this. No matter what lies you want to believe. They are choosing to do this on their own as a result of public pressure. That's called free enterprise for those of you who can not see it.
Angela M. DeVito Gahan January 30, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I have a Boy Scout and until recently I haven't even thought that was a problem. My son says Boy Scouts should not change because of the oath you have to live by to be a Scout and he is in a Catholic Troop so when you throw religion into it of course the answer will be no don't change it. It should be left up to the Troop if they are OK with leadership being gay or its just the children we are talking about.
Don January 30, 2013 at 06:46 PM
to JD: ....the BSA "choosing to do this on their own is 'free enterprise'"???????????? Better get out the ol' dictionary...
jessica January 30, 2013 at 10:47 PM
I am sorry to re direct what the fact that a gay cub scout leader will and will not do he I'm he would not push gay sex or his believes on the boys he would not talk about his so called perverted ways he would be there for his young family's boy as a leader who thinks that maybe there's a young boy out there who doesn't have a father but a family member who happens to b gay wants to be a father figure and suport him and why do these stupid men think when there leading the boy scouts and there asleep and the leaders r sitting around the fire talking in appropriate sexiest dialogue that some boy s can't hear them maybe some straight couples who have taboo sex acts should be in the troops maybe if u like ur wife to dominate u or if u like boot sex with ur wife u should not be a boy scout leader but I am sorry it's o Kay because ur weird sex life is with a man and a woman sorry didn't realize that was dif
Jim January 31, 2013 at 08:00 PM
This says it all as far as I'm concerned. Also, continue to include pedophiles in the ban. http://patriotpost.us/perspective/16511
David Williams February 01, 2013 at 05:06 AM
The Boy Scouts of America teaches young men to base their lives on God and Country. It requires that they take an oath to do so and live by it. The Scout Oath says the following: "On my honor I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." To change their policy would directly contradict the most important values they are trying to teach the young men. It would make their organization meaningless.
Cathy Lanning February 01, 2013 at 01:15 PM
I'm extremely disappointed in the BSA. After years of fighting this battle and winning, why are we opening the door to even consider this. The scout oath states "do my duty to God" and "morally straight". I cannot sit by and let this happen without fighting for morality. My son, a Life Scout, says he is quitting scouts if the BSA changes their stance. This is opening the door to a path we do not want to take. Let's continue to stand for godly values! What does this "wishy-washy" new direction say to our boys - let's show them how to stand up for what is right.
jessica February 04, 2013 at 08:28 AM
Why do stupid people think that by being gay u r dammed to hell on ur perverted ways if some of these people would actually read the bible they would see that every sin is of equal value in God's eyes and in God's eyes if u think about size sining it's the same as doing it so if u think about stealing ur stealing but the bible says that Jesus died for our sins and the first person who is without sin cast the first stone tube fact is maybe more gays would be going to heaven if they knew god loved them even if they r sining it's just as bad as sex before marriage lust or murder ever sin is the same
jessica February 04, 2013 at 08:32 AM
Maybe if we where real Christians we would try and bring them to god issed of yelling dammed to hell the only person who is going to judge our actions is god but people who only kno the bible by being Sunday Christians and going to doom and gloom churches that pick the verses they want and take the out of contest they don't kno the bible so they don't kno what god wants he wants us to love each other and be there for each other
jessica February 04, 2013 at 08:41 AM
So donth take a oath of doeing gods work or morally straight as god hates gays maybe that's the churches of not understanding thing and wanting things to stay the same but if they would notice that they r preaching things wrong to keep the things that they think r taboo out but really child molester should be what we keep out of the boy scouts not someone who wants to follow there rules and educate young children just because they r gay doesn't mean god hates them and they r going to cHange r kids being gay is ur sexual believes not ur believes in god or morality the only way a gay person should talk to a young boy about being gay is if the kid is gay and comes out to him for advice on how to tel his snobing parents he is gay when that kid knos his parents would dis own him
donald edward stuard February 05, 2013 at 09:42 PM
there is no religious bias. The B.S.A. is a private organization it is a FREEDOM to the group to exclude certain beliefs. the military accepting homosexuals is on the military's point of view not the B.S.A.'s
jessica March 01, 2013 at 01:59 AM
If we dont realise that churches use to ban african American s from priesthood bc they believed the color of there skin is a curse if u where black u where going to hell if we dont realise that if t. Church can change its belief s on race then we can change discrimination against gays I am not sayin it will happen over night black skinned people didnt get there rights over night and still to this day they recieve discrimination. But change does happen even in religion and boy scouts of america is not going to say we cant have a African American child or cub scout leader so yes they r a private. Establishment they can refuse who they want. But the fact is people think that gays can not be leaders bc of there sexual orientation but yet there r plenty of straight men who hurt and abuse kids people in authority get the closes to our kids and more gay men have been better father figures than straight men they care much more and understand being dif and every kid feels def at some time and like a outcast so just think about that

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