US Boy Scouts to lift ban on gay kids

Gay kids will be able to become Boy Scouts in the US but gay adults won’t be able to help out. Proposal still has to be ratified by 1,400-strong National Council

US Boy Scouts to lift ban on gay kids
19 April 2013

The Boy Scouts of America is set to ask members to lift the long-standing ban on gay members.

The organization’s board will still have to vote on the plan in May, however. And it is only lifting the ban on gay youth members, not adult leaders.

The recommendation will be put to the 1,400 members at the National Council meeting in Texas starting in the week of 20 May. It comes after years of protest and three months of research, surveys and discussions.

Deron Smith, the organization’s spokesman, told Reuters the lifting of the ban would mean ‘no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone’.

The organization sent out about 1 million surveys earlier this year and heard back from 200,000 respondents – including many churches and religious organizations.

The results showed that 61 percent favored keeping the current policy of excluding gays while 34 percent did not. But a majority of younger parents and teens were opposed to the policy.

‘While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting,’ the BSA said in a statement.

It added: ‘The proposed resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting,’

For some gay scouts, this policy will come too late.

Eric Andresen’s son, Ryan, was denied his Eagle Scout award last year because he is gay. He says the proposed policy a small step in the right direction but falls short on actually helping young people like Ryan.

‘Had this proposed policy been enacted just a few months ago, my son Ryan would’ve received his Eagle award,’ the father says. ‘But now that he’s 18, under this proposed policy, he would once again be rejected by the Boy Scouts. It’s a small step in the right direction, but it still sends a dangerous message to young people and excludes talented leaders.’



No thumbnail available

What’s really going on for World Pride

Following the confusion over this year’s World Pride weekend, GSN has a full run down on what is definitely happening in London
No thumbnail available

Canada warns tourists visiting anti-gay Russia

Canadian foreign minister John Baird says St Petersburg gay gag law is contrary to country's 'core values'
No thumbnail available

The UK’s top 20 LGBT-friendly law firms are celebrated in London

The 20 were all included in this year’s Stonewall Workplace Equality Index
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris gets bloody in killer TV role

Star takes center stage during season's final two episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show
No thumbnail available

Human Rights Campaign's Chad Griffin outlines next steps in US gay marriage battle

'We still have a lot of work to do but the momentum is on our side'
No thumbnail available

Vile leaflets circulated in Dublin claim gays ‘more likely to get cancer’

Shocking leaflets urge people to vote against gay marriage because gays are more likely to get cancer, be promiscuous and abuse children
No thumbnail available

Russia author of anti-gay law wants Moscow ‘Gay Olympics’ banned

Vitaly Milonov, who says gay people rape kids and are violent towards straights, has said a gay contest must take place behind closed doors
No thumbnail available

Hobbit trailer starring McKellen released online

Gay actors Sir Ian McKellen and Stephen Fry among stars of The Hobbit
No thumbnail available

Pope Francis’ representative to Uganda concerned by new anti-gay law

Papal Nuncio to Uganda, Archbishop Michael Blume, has voiced his concerns about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill recently passed by the country’s parliament but yet to be signed by President Yoweri Museveni
No thumbnail available

Clear your diary: 6 of the world's top gay Pride parties for 2015

How will you be celebrating LGBTI Pride in 2015?