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Content about Boy Scouts of America membership controversies

April 9, 2014

Geoff McGrath vows to continue to serve his local troop in Seattle

The Boy Scouts of America does not think Geoff McGrath is fit to continuing serving as a scoutmaster in Seattle because he is gay.

His troop and its charter organization disagree and are standing by McGrath after he had his registration revoked this week by the BSA.

Even though the BSA ended its ban on gay scouts at the start of the year, the ban remains in place for gay and lesbian adult leaders like McGrath.

McGrath has vowed to continue to lead the troop.

April 1, 2014

After a gay troop leader took his Boy Scouts to a Pride parade, he was accused of 'injecting homosexuality into scouting'

A gay scout leader is speaking out afer getting fired from the Boy Scouts of America because he ‘deliberately injected’ his homosexuality into a scout troop.

Geoff McGrath, an Eagle Scout leader who is thought to be the first openly gay scout leader in America, started a new troop through a local church in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood.

But the 49-year-old was removed from his position because they believed he had breached the national scout policy against gay leaders in the organisation.

December 29, 2013

As the day gets nearer for open gay troop membership, Boy States of America expect a boring transition

On 1 January, the Boy Scouts of America will begin to accept openly gay members. While the policy change is historic, BSA representatives expect little change.

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

October 31, 2013

Robert Gates led the dismantling of Don't Ask, Don't Tell while US Secretary of Defense

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been chosen as the next leader of the Boy Scouts of America.

Gates assumes the role in May 2014, five months after the scouts change in policy regarding gay members goes into effect.

The BSA voted earlier this year to change its century-old policy of banning openly gay members up until they reach the age of 18. But the ban remains for adults scout leaders, employees and volunteers.

Gates has experience in such situations.

September 10, 2013

Trail Life USA hopes to provide a home for people who feel excluded from the Boy Scouts of American because the scouts won't exclude gay teens

A group set up by people who have left the Boy Scouts of America after the scouts allowed openly gay teens to become scouts launched in Tennessee over the weekend.

Around 1,200 people attended an inaugural Leadership Conference for the group ‘Trail Life USA’ which bills itself as a Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts of America.

July 10, 2013

On My Honor is setting up a boy scouting group and will allow gay youths and adults as long as they do not 'flaunt it'

An anti-gay group is being set up to rival Boy Scouts as part of the backlash over the recent decision to admit gay youths.

The splinter group made of parents and former scoutmasters, On My Honor, said the new organization will offer an outdoors-oriented character-development program for boys similar to the Boy Scouts.

They will also focus on ‘sexual purity’ and ensure boys keep to a ‘standard statement of Christian values’.

June 1, 2013

A group of boy scouts and scouting adult volunteers haven’t ruled out marching in uniform in an upcoming LGBT pride parade in Salt Lake City despite a senior scouting official warning that they will be in breach of the organization’s rules

A group of boy scouts and adult volunteers in scouting have not ruled out marching in uniform in the upcoming Utah Pride Parade despite a senior scouting official warning that they will be in breach of the organization’s rules.

Local Scoutmaster Peter Brownstein had been organizing a group of Scouts for Equality to march in the June 2 parade to mark the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow openly gay teens into scouting – although the ban on openly gay adults volunteering with the organization remains.

May 30, 2013

First time an LGBT rights bill has passed with a two-thirds majority

The Boy Scouts of America's steadfast refusal to allow openly gay adults to be leaders and volunteers has earned the group a stinging rebuke from the California Senate.

The senate voted to pass a bill that yanks the tax exempt status of any public charity youth organization - like the BSA - that discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation.

The BSA voted last week to end its policy banning gay members under the age of 18. But it left in place a policy that does not allow LGBT adults to be a part of the organization.

May 26, 2013

Religious pundit Bryan Fischer suggests the Boy Scouts of America rename their organization after lifting the ban on gay members

Bryan Fischer says the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) should rename themselves to sodomizers after this week’s decision to allow gay scouts. 

The notoriously anti-gay spokesperson for the American Family Association, a conservative Christian organization, went on his radio show to quote the Bible and say he would not want to be a Boy Scout executive facing judgement before God.

May 25, 2013

BSA has voted to allow gay youth but to continue LGBT adult ban

Although openly gay youths will be able to participate in the Boy Scouts beginning next year, LGBT adults are still banned from leadership and volunteers positions.

Except in New York City.

The Boy Scouts of America's Greater New York Councils, which represents the five boroughs of New York City, says it will continue to admit adult members as leaders and volunteers. It will also continue to push for a more inclusive policy on an national level.

May 24, 2013

Pascal Tessier: 'For gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing'

Close to completing the rigorous requirements to become an Eagle Scout, 16-year-old Pascal Tessier cheered the decision by the Boy Scouts of America on Thursday (23 May) to repeal its ban on gay members.

'Just a few hours ago, I was thinking that today could be my last day as a Boy Scout,' the teen from Kensington, Maryland said in a statement after the vote. 'Obviously, for gay Scouts like me, this vote is life-changing.'

May 24, 2013

Perry says 'decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness'

The Boy Scouts of America's decision to allow gay youths age 18 and under to remain in the organization is being sharply criticized by several anti-gay leaders including Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Perry, who has made several anti-gay comments and consistently taken positions against LGBT equality, accuses the BSA of bowing to political correctness.

May 23, 2013

But ban against LGBT leaders and volunteers reaffirmed by BSA National Council

The Boy Scouts of America will begin allowing openly gay members to be a part of the organization beginning next year.

The BSA's approximately 1,400-member National Council on Thursday (23 May) met in Grapevine, Texas and 61.4% voted to pass the new membership standards.

The new standards state that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.'

But a ban on LGBT adult leaders and volunteers will remain in place without any further review planned.

May 23, 2013

National Council will vote on ending restriction which would still ban gay adults from participating

On Thursday (23 May), the 1,400-member National Council of the Boy Scouts of America meeting in Grapevine, Texas, is to vote on whether to end its ban on gay members.

In advance of the vote, the organization's president, Wayne Perry, has come out publicly in favor of allowing scouts to be openly gay saying it is the 'right decision' for the group.

May 22, 2013

James Dale: 'A boy can go from celebrated Eagle Scout to immoral persona non grata overnight when he turns 18'

When James Dale was 19, he came out as a gay man in a newspaper article not knowing it would mean the end of his days as part of the Boy Scouts of America.

'The Boy Scouts saw that and they expelled me, severed my 12 year association with (the organization,' Dale said in interview released Wednesday (23 May) by GLAAD.

Dale is speaking out a day before the BSA's national board is due to vote on a proposed policy change that would no longer ban gay members but would still prevent gay adults from participating in any way.

May 10, 2013

A new poll released today found a majority of Americans support a plan that would admit gay youth into Boy Scouts

A new poll reveals a majority of Americans are fine with gay Boy Scouts members.

According to a new poll published today by American news sources The Washington Post and ABC News, 63% of Americans interviewed said gay scouts should be allowed to join.

56% of those interviewed also opposed the ban on gay adults in the Boy Scouts.

April 26, 2013

Church sponsors more Boy Scout troops than any other religious organization

The Mormon Church has come out in support of the Boy Scouts of America lifting its longtime ban on gay members.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also endorses the part of the proposal that continues to ban gays and lesbians once they become adults and want to transition to leadership roles in the organization.

The church sponsors more Boy Scout troops than any other religious organization.

April 19, 2013

'The Boy Scouts are once again forcing me to look my children in the eyes and tell them that our family isn't good enough' 

Ousted lesbian den leader Jennifer Tyrrell says she is pleased the Boy Scouts of America will be voting on a proposal to end its ban on gay members. But she is upset the organization would continue to ban gay adults.

April 19, 2013

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

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.

April 16, 2013

Scouts’ numbers flag while others skyrocket in light of group’s anti-gay legislation

The membership numbers for Navigators USA, an alternative group to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), have more than doubled in the past year.

In March 2012, Navigators USA had 19 chapters, compared with today’s 45. There are currently up to 600 boys and girls enrolled on the program.

Rising membership levels of alternative organizations are in stark contrast to the Boy Scouts whose membership has declined by approximately one third by 2012.

The BSA has come under fire since its decision to uphold its controversial anti-gay ban in July 2012.

March 23, 2013

Texas Governor Rick Perry is unhappy with Madonna's comments on the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy

From all indications Governor Rick Perry is over his epic failure as a presidential candidate. He has taken the unofficial title of Boy Scouts of America defender, and is unhappy with Madonna's recent comments about the organization.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, the governor went on Glenn Beck's radio show to complain about the pop singer's speech at last week's Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award program.

March 5, 2013

GLAAD has praised the 'Call Me Maybe' singer for sending the right message to the BSA

March 2, 2013

Grammy winning band was scheduled to play at Boy Scouts 2013 National Scout Jamboree

The Grammy winning band Train has given the Boy Scouts of America an ultimatum: drop your ban on gays or we won't perform at your annual national event.

The band, which has shown support for the LGBT community in the past. was scheduled to perform at Boy Scouts 2013 National Scout Jamboree as the closing night act.

'When we booked this show for the Boy Scouts of America we were not aware of any policy barring openly gay people from participation within the organization,' the band said in a statement.

February 25, 2013

We look at how the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay participation particularly impacts on young black gay and bisexual youths

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the Black Church are rightly lauded for molding young black men into adult leaders. BSA troops have produced distinguished African American scouts like retired four-star general Colin Powell, six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan, and Heisman Trophy winner Herschel Walker.

African American participation in the Boy Scout movement dates back to 1911, and its impact has not only forced the integration of young black males into the organization, but also continues to address many of the challenges these young males confront today.